Pneumonia in the Pregnant Patient: A Synopsis

, and , Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Winthrop University Hospital, Mineola, NY

Disclosures

Medscape General Medicine. 1999;1(3) 

In This Article

Summary

Pneumonia in the pregnant host carries significant morbidity and mortality. The etiologic agents are no different from those seen in comparable nonpregnant hosts, but because of the maternal changes in immune status that accompany the normal pregnant state, these same agents lead to greater morbidity and poorer fetal and maternal outcomes. Therapy for bacterial pneumonia is first determined by the safety profile of available agents and is aimed at covering for both typical and atypical pathogens, because the clinical entities are not always distinct.

Aspiration pneumonia can be better anticipated and prevented. The pregnant woman's physiology predisposes greatly to aspiration, and all attempts to protect the airway must be made. Respiratory failure in the postpartum period should raise the index of suspicion of aspiration.

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