The airway of an obstetric patient is more vulnerable than in the non-pregnant state: not only is there more likely to be swelling and oedema, but the progestogenic effects which reduce gastric emptying and relax the cardiac sphincter increase the chance of regurgitation and subsequent aspiration of gastric contents. For these reasons the management of any obstetric patient with reduced consciousness requires careful attention to maintaining and protecting the airway and this should involve an anaesthetist. In simple circumstances she should at the very least be nursed on her side, and a jaw thrust and chin lift can aid in bringing the tongue forward to open the airway. Severe laryngeal oedema due to pre-eclampsia or anaphylaxis are examples of situations which can critically compromise the airway in the obstetric patient, and in these circumstances an anaesthetist is needed extremely urgently to establish and maintain a protected airway (usually by a cuffed endotracheal tube).
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Once your pregnancy is over and done with, your baby is happily in your arms, and youre headed back home from the hospital, youll begin to realize that things have only just begun. Over the next few days, weeks, and months, youre going to increasingly notice that your entire life has changed in more ways than you could ever imagine.