What are the anesthetic concerns when anesthetizing a pregnant patient?
Anesthetizing the pregnant patient is one of the only times an anesthesiologist must consider two patients simultaneously. Maternal considerations result from the physiologic changes of pregnancy that affect almost every organ system (Table 62.1). In order to provide safe anesthesia to the pregnant patient, one must not only understand the physiologic changes but also when they occur during the ges-tational period and how they impact on the administration of anesthesia. Fetal concerns include the possible teratogenic effects of anesthetic agents, avoidance of intrauterine fetal asphyxia, and prevention of premature labor.