Master Supine Hypotension (Vena Cava Syndrome) with Picmonic for Nursing RN

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Supine Hypotension (Vena Cava Syndrome)

Supine-spine Hippo-BP
Picmonic
Supine hypotension, (also known as vena cava syndrome) can occur when the pregnant woman is lying flat on her back in the supine position. The weight of the uterus applies pressure on the descending aorta and vena cava. This pressure decreases the woman’s blood pressure causing faintness, dizziness, breathlessness, clammy skin, sweating, tachycardia, and pallor. If supine hypotension occurs, the pregnant woman should lie on her side until symptoms subside.
7 KEY FACTS
MECHANISM
Compression of the Vena Cava and Descending Aorta
Compressing Vine Cave and Descending A-orca

When the pregnant woman lies in the supine position, the weight of the fetus compresses the vena cava and descending aorta, decreasing the blood return to the right atrium.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Hypotension
Hippo-BP

Decreased blood pressure occurs due to compression of the vena cava and descending aorta, reducing blood return to the right atrium.

Dizziness
Dizzy-eyes

Due to decreased blood pressure and diminished blood return to the heart the woman in the supine position will feel faint and light headed. This may result in pallor, nausea, and clammy skin.

Tachycardia
Tac-heart-card

Due to decreased blood pressure and blood return to the right atrium, the heart compensates by pumping faster to circulate blood.

Decreased Renal Perfusion
Down-arrow Kidney Pear-fuse

As the uterus compresses the vena cava and descending aorta, blood pressure decreases and blood flow to the kidneys is interrupted.

Decreased Uteroplacental Perfusion
Down-arrow Uterus-placenta-present Pear-fuse

As blood pressure decreases due to pressure on the vena cava, the blood flow to the placenta is reduced thereby interrupting blood flow to the fetus.

INTERVENTION
Side-lying Position
Side-lying Position

Position the woman on her side until vital signs normalize and the signs and symptoms resolve. Side-lying position removes the pressure on the vena cava and aorta and allows blood to flow normally again. In addition, alternating between right and left side-lying positions provides abdominal and back support to promote comfort.

Unlock all 7 facts & definitions with Picmonic Free!

JOIN FREE

Take the Supine Hypotension (Vena Cava Syndrome) Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

START QUIZ NOW

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Ace Your Nursing (RN) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 860,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Nursing (RN) student study app.

Picmonic for Nursing (RN) covers information that is relevant to your entire Nursing (RN) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer your NCLEX®-RN, Hesi, ATI, TEAS test, Kaplan exams, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Nursing (RN) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.