Collapse as it presents to the obstetrician can be due to a variety of causes, including innocent vasovagal faint through to cardiac arrest, but the initial assessment and management of the patient is remarkably similar and requires a systematic disciplined ABC approach (airway, breathing, circulation) combined with lateral tilting of the pregnant patient to minimize aortocaval compression. The essential steps of how to approach the apparently lifeless patient are summarized in Fig. 18.1 and aim to make the crucial diagnosis of cardiac arrest (as opposed to reduced consciousness due to another cause) so that cardiopulmonary resuscitation can be commenced early. Most other conditions require basic resuscitation with attention to the airway and breathing combined with intravenous access and circulatory support while the cause of the problem is diagnosed and then treated (Table 18.1).
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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.