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Semin Perinatol. 2013 Aug;37(4):234-45. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2013.04.003.

Severe acute asthma.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Mail Stop 610, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Asthma is common among women of reproductive age and affects between 4% and 8% of pregnant women. Pregnancy outcomes are correlated to the degree of asthma severity and control. Approximately one-third of pregnant women with asthma remain stable, a third will have improvement of their asthma, and a third will have worsening of the disease. Pregnant women with severe asthma are at markedly increased risk of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality, preeclampsia, low-birth weight infants, and preterm delivery. A severe asthma exacerbation in a pregnant woman may be clinically daunting, however immediate intervention with appropriate supplemental oxygenation, medical therapy, and intubation if necessary can be life-saving. A focus on maternal well-being and pulmonary function in a pregnant asthmatic is essential to ensure optimal outcomes for both mother and her fetus. This article will provide an overview of asthma management, particularly in the acute care setting.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Acute exacerbation; Asthma; Management; Outcome; Pregnancy

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