Hypertension & Pregnancy

Hypertension affects approximately 8–10% of pregnancies. It can be classified as pre-existing hypertension, gestational hypertension, or pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is a disorder of pregnancy distinguished by the outset of high blood pressure and often a significant amount of protein in the urine. If arises, the pre-eclampsia begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy. In severe conditions there may be red blood cell breakdown, a low blood platelet count, kidney dysfunction, impaired liver function, swelling, visual disturbances, or shortness of breath due to fluid in the lungs. For both the mother and her baby, pre-eclampsia enhances the poor outcomes and if left untreated, it may result in to eclampsia. Eclampsia is a life-threatening condition which is a hypertensive emergency. It has several serious complications including seizures, vision loss, brain swelling, pulmonary edema, kidney failure, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. In approximately 5% of pregnancies, preeclampsia occurs and it is responsible for about 16% of all maternal deaths globally. It also doubles the risk of death of the baby around the time of birth. It is more frequent in a woman's first pregnancy and mostly if she is carrying twins. In most cases, pre-eclampsia is diagnosed before delivery. In some rare cases, pre-eclampsia may begin in the period after the delivery of the baby. Women affected with pre-eclampsia during their pregnancy are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke later in life. In recommended treatments for prevention of pre-eclampsia, there are several such as providing aspirin in individuals at high risk, calcium supplementation in areas with low intake, and treatment of prior high blood pressure with medications. This session is aimed at discussing the various issues related to pre-eclampsia, its diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, the session also aims to discuss about other hypertensions during pregnancy i.e. pre-existing hypertension and gestational hypertension.

 

  • Pre – eclampsia
  • Pre - existing Hypertension
  • Gestational Hypertension

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