Describe the cardiovascular changes that occur in pregnancy

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College Answer

A structured approach to answering this question was important. The principal topics to discuss
included the increased cardiac output, increased blood volume, changes in red blood cell mass
and protein concentrations, decrease in blood pressure and gravitational effects of the gravid
uterus on major blood vessels. Answers benefited by specific details of percentage change and
reference to timing of occurrence.

Syllabus: O1,2a
References: Hemmings Foundation of Anaesthesia: Basic and Clinical Science Pg 823 – 825,
Miller Anaesthesia pgs2308-2309