Lung Ultrasound Enables Early Prognosis on the Risk of Respiratory Failure During Pregnancy

April 30, 2014

April 30, 2014

In the April issue of Anesthesiology, a recent study found that pregnant women suffering from preeclampsia could now know if they are at risk for respiratory failure through a lung ultrasound. A condition that claims 60,000 women annually, preeclampsia is a serious prenatal condition that can be fatal to both the mother and her baby. The condition is characterized by hypertension, and presence of protein in the urine (proteinuria), which can lead to stroke, bleeding, and excess lung fluid, also known as a pulmonary edema.

20140501-02In this study, 20 women with severe preeclampsia underwent lung and heart ultrasound examinations before and after giving birth. Researchers then tried to detect the presence of pulmonary edema in their system as part of early prognosis on the risk of respiratory failure. The findings showed that approximately 25 percent of the women were discovered to have pulmonary edema using a lung ultrasound, while 20 percent were diagnosed through a heart ultrasound.

According to lead author Dr. Marc Leone, vice chairman of the department of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Hospital Nord in Marseille, France, "Lung ultrasound is fast, safe, noninvasive, and easy to use." He also added that it allows for a speedy and accurate assessment of whether a woman with preeclampsia already developed pulmonary edema, and then verify the severity of the patient’s condition.

Through this critical research, the team confirmed that the application of ultrasound systems could guide physicians in properly treating their pregnant patients with pulmonary edema by not administering excess fluids or intravenous medications, at the same time, prevent the risk of aggravating this condition that could lead to other serious respiratory diseases.

Pulmonary edema, if not diagnosed and managed on the onset can be life-threatening, but it can be treated by giving the patient oxygen through breathing tubes connected to a ventilator or breathing machine. Prescriptive medications are also given to lower blood pressure, eliminate excess body fluids, strengthen the heart muscle, monitor the heart rate, and relieve the pressure suffered by the heart. Medical specialists also stated that a lung ultrasound could greatly help in assessing the effects of this condition and planning the proper treatment for pulmonary edema.

It is critical for clinicians to employ top performing, high-quality fetal monitoring systems and accessories to be able to deliver optimal prenatal, perinatal, and neonatal care to every patient.

AIV specializes in developing superior, medical-grade fetal monitor accessories and repair services for industry leading manufacturers. Please visit for a comprehensive view of AIV's product line and expert services.

About the Author

Laura Collier

Laura Collier

Laura Collier has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. She is the Marketing Manager at AIV, Inc.

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