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ACLS in pregnancy

Overall, standard Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) principles apply similarly to pregnant patients as they do to other adult patients. There are some modifications to consider:

  • Left uterine displacement 15 to 30 degrees
  • Consider airway edema associated with pregnancy
  • Decreased functional residual capacity in pregnancy
  • Chest compressions should be preformed higher on the sternum than in nonpregnant patients
  • Discontinue magnesium sulfate (if running) and administer calcium chloride or calcium gluconate for cardiac protection


  1. Lipman S, et al. The Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology consensus statement on the management of cardiac arrest in pregnancy. Anesth. Analg.: 2014, 118(5);1003-16 PubMed Link

Other References

  1. Keys to the Cart: January 15, 2019 Link
  2. Keys to the Cart: January 1, 2019 Link