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Background: The concept that upper extremities can be used as an infusion route during cardiopulmonary resuscitation in pregnant women is a reasonable recommendation considering the characteristic circulation of pregnant women; however, this method is not based on scientific evidence. Objective of the review: We conducted a scoping review to determine whether the infusion route should be established above the diaphragm during cardiopulmonary resuscitation in a pregnant woman. Discussion: We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-RCTs on the infusion of fluids in pregnant women after 20 weeks of gestation requiring establishment of an infusion route due to cardiac arrest, massive bleeding, intra-abdominal bleeding, cesarean section, severe infection, or thrombosis. In total, 3150 articles from electronic database were extracted, respectively. After title and abstract review, 265 articles were extracted, and 116 articles were extracted by full-text screening, which were included in the final analysis. The 116 articles included 78 studies on infusion for pregnant women. The location of the intravenous infusion route could be confirmed in only 17 studies, all of which used the upper extremity to secure the venous route. Conclusion: Pregnant women undergo significant physiological changes that differ from those of normal adults, because of pressure and drainage of the inferior vena cava and pelvic veins by the enlarged uterus. Therefore, despite a lack of evidence, it seems logical to secure the infusion route above the diaphragm when resuscitating a pregnant woman.

Original publication




Journal article


BMC Emergency Medicine

Publication Date