Altitude in pregnancy

The fetal PO2 at sea level is 32 mmHg (6.3 kPa), although the maternal PO2 is 100 mmHg (13.3 kPa). Thus the change in PO2 in the fetus at altitude is less than that in the mother; owing to the oxygen dissociation curve for fetal hemoglobin, it is more saturated at a lower PO2 than the maternal hemoglobin. Thus attention should focus on hypoxia in the mother which, when corrected, should relieve fetal hypoxia, barring any mechanical etiology such as an amniotic fluid embolus. When the cervix is dilated more than 6 cm, an obstetrician should be part of the medical crew if possible ( Rodenberg.and Blu.,m..e.n 1.994; Mol!eiĀ§.D 1996).

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