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What is preeclampsia?: Part 1

The previous two birth injury blog posts discussed how a scientific panel studying the effects of a chemical used in manufacturing Teflon and other non-stick products by DuPont recently concluded that there is a probable link between exposure to the chemical and preeclampsia.

The scientific panel was appointed as part of a 2005 class-action personal injury settlement. The scientific experts are charged with determining whether there is a probable link between exposure to C8 (also referred to as perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA) and certain health conditions.

Preeclampsia or pregnancy-induced hypertension is a pregnancy complication and occurs when a woman develops dangerously high blood pressure during her pregnancy. This condition can threaten the life of both the woman and her unborn child.

Symptoms can include swelling of hands, face and eyes, or a sudden weight gain over just a couple of days or gaining more than two pounds a week. Women may not feel sick when they have preeclampsia in the beginning stages.

When preeclampsia is severe, pregnant women can experience constant headache, pain in the abdomen below the ribs on the right side, pain in the right shoulder, irritability, decreased urine, vomiting and nausea, and vision changes. When preeclampsia progresses to this severe stage it is known as HELLP syndrome.

The next post will further discuss the conditions of pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia and eclampsia.

Source: PubMed Health, "Preeclampsia," Sept. 12, 2011

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