Heart disease is the commonest cause of maternal death in the UK. The woman presenting with cardiac disease in pregnancy, whether established or of new onset, often provokes fear and uncertainty in her carers. A multidisciplinary approach with the appropriate involvement of specialist cardiologists, obstetricians with training and experience in the management of high risk pregnancies and obstetric anaesthetists comfortable with the management of women with cardiac disease is essential. Expertise in the management of heart disease in pregnancy allows correct stratification of women into high and low risk and therefore facilitates normalisation of many women as well as optimisation of high dependency care required for those women at risk of severe complications.
This handbook is intended as a practical, easy-to-use reference to guide the clinician through the important issues to consider when caring for women with heart disease in pregnancy. For the obstetrician basic cardiological principles and investigations are explained and for the cardiologist ready reference chapters covering the unfamiliar territory of normal antenatal care, assisted conception and contraception are included. The Oxford Handbook style with clear diagrams and illustrations helps the reader of any discipline quickly access essential tips for the management of this challenging group of women.