n Obstetrics and Gynaecology Forum - From dyspnoea to respiratory failure in pregnancy : review

Volume 24, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1027-9148



Non-pregnancy related infections (mainly deaths in HIV infected pregnant women complicated by tuberculosis and pneumonia) contributed 40.5% of maternal deaths in 2010-2012, most of which are highly preventable. Two thirds of the women with AIDS had respiratory complications including tuberculosis (26.9%), pneumonia (13.3%) and other non-specified pneumonia (26.7%). Early recognition and intervention of patients with these respiratory complications is important in the reduction of maternal mortality (Saving mothers report 2010-2012). Despite often ignored chronic respiratory symptomatology these women commonly present in an acute state with dyspnoea which is a subjective experience of breathing discomfort that is comprised of qualitatively distinct sensations that vary in intensity. The experience derives from interactions among multiple physiological, psychological, social, and environmental factors, and may induce secondary physiological and behavioural responses. Dyspnoeais a common symptom that afflicts millions of patients with pulmonary disease and it may also be the primary manifestation of myocardial ischaemia or dysfunction.

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