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Therapeutics and anaesthesia.

TitleTherapeutics and anaesthesia.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsMagee, LA, Lowe, S, M Douglas, J, Kathirgamanathan, A
JournalBest Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol
Date Published2011 Aug
KeywordsAnesthesia, Obstetrical, Antihypertensive Agents, Exercise, Feeding Behavior, Female, Humans, Hypertension, Pre-Eclampsia, Pregnancy, Sodium Chloride, Dietary, Thromboembolism, Water-Electrolyte Balance

Many aspects of hypertension care outside pregnancy may be applied in pregnancy, but little information is available on which to base decision-making. It would seem reasonable to continue previous dietary salt restriction and physical activity in women with pre-existing (and controlled) hypertension, encourage a heart-healthy diet in all women with a hypertension disorder of pregnancy, and take patient preference into account when deciding on place of care. Although bed rest has become a key part of obstetric practice and for care of women with a hypertension disorder of pregnancy, in particular, the evidence is lacking to support this practice. This may also increase thromboembolic risk. Antihypertensive treatment is strongly advised for women with severe hypertension. The most common agents are parenteral labetalol, hydralazine, or oral nifedipine capsules. Clinicians should familiarise themselves with multiple agents. Until the role of antihypertensive treatment for non-severe hypertension in pregnancy is clarified by ongoing research, clinicians should explicitly state an individual patient's blood pressure goal, which could reasonably be anywhere between 130/80 and 155/105 mmHg. Labetalol and methyldopa are used most commonly. Breastfeeding should be encouraged. Many risk factors for hypertension (e.g. obesity), as well as hospitalisation and pre-eclampsia, all increase the thromboembolic risk for pregnant women, and care providers should consider thromboprophylaxis in the appropriate setting. Finally, anaesthetists play a critical role in the management of women with a hypertension disorder of pregnancy, and should be involved earlier rather than later in the course of their care.

Alternate JournalBest Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol
Citation Key610
PubMed ID21478058