The maternal mortality rate in the United States has stagnated for the past 2 decades. To further lower morbidity and mortality, we must take a broader perspective. When a pregnant woman is treated in a nonobstetric part of the hospital, care must adapt quickly to her special needs. Excessive concern as to medication, radiation, and litigation may render her care neither safe, timely, efficient, effective, nor patient-centered. Anesthesiologists can significantly improve the care of the pregnant patient by applying their uniquely broad-based skills, experience, and knowledge outside the labor unit. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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