What is preeclampsia?: Part 2

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This blog recently discussed how a scientific panel concluded that there is a probable link between exposure to a chemical used by DuPont in manufacturing in West Virginia and the development of pregnancy-induced hypertension or preeclampsia in pregnant women.

The previous post began to discuss what exactly the condition of preeclampsia is. Preeclampsia can occur when a woman experiences dangerously high blood pressure during her pregnancy.

The only way to cure preeclampsia is to deliver the baby. The infant’s chance of surviving depends on how far along the pregnancy is when the mother develops severe preeclampsia.

If the preeclampsia or pregnancy-induced hypertension is discovered before the preeclampsia is severe, a mother may be able to be monitored on bed rest or in the hospital to give the baby more time to develop. If the baby must be delivered prematurely, there are risks to the baby’s short- and long-term health.

A mother with severe preeclampsia can go on to develop eclampsia, which means she experiences seizures. The best way to manage and prevent severe cases of preeclampsia and eclampsia is to get ongoing medical care. These conditions must be diagnosed early to best care for the health of the mother and child.

If a doctor does not catch pregnancy-induced hypertension or mild preeclampsia before it develops into severe preeclampsia or eclampsia and the mother or baby’s health is harmed as a result, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice.

Source: PubMed Health, “Preeclampsia,” Sept. 12, 2011

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