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News » Preeclampsia is a serious condition faced by some pregnant women

Preeclampsia is a serious condition faced by some pregnant women

Preeclampsia is a condition that occurs in pregnant women and is associated with increased blood pressure. This causes kidney damage and subsequent proteinurea (excretion of protein into urine) and swelling. It often occurs after week 20 of the pregnancy. The only way to alleviate the condition is to deliver the baby through cesarean or induction. Risk factors include late life pregnancy, pregnancy in women under 20 years, multiple fetuses, obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertensive condition prior to pregnancy, preeclampsia in previous pregnancy, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and scleroderma. The incidence of preeclampsia is increasing as women are tending to have children later in life and more are resorting to fertility treatments which often result in multiple births. A deterioration of preeclampsia results in eclampsia which can end in death for mother and baby. Pulmonary embolism is the leading cause of maternal death followed by eclampsia. Preeclampsia symptoms include severe headaches, excessive swelling of hands and feet, excessive nausea, excessive vomiting, reduced urination, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, abdominal pain, ringing in ears, buzzing in ears, fever, drowsiness, double vision, blurred vision, sudden blindness and sudden weight gain of over 5 pounds. Bed rest and close monitoring is prescribed for early preeclampsia. It is recommended women lie on their left side to prevent the weight of the abdomen from affecting fetal blood flow.

Source: summary of medical news story as reported by New York Times News Service

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About: Preeclampsia is a serious condition faced by some pregnant women

Date: 27 November 2004

Source: New York Times News Service

Author: Jane E. Brody


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