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glossary:preeclampsia [2012/10/16 14:40] (current)
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|+||A condition in pregnancy characterized by abrupt hypertension (a sharp rise in blood pressure), albuminuria (leakage of large amounts of the protein albumin into the urine) and [[glossary:edema]] (swelling) of the hands, feet, and face. Preeclampsia is the most common complication of pregnancy. It affects about 5% of pregnancies. It occurs in the third trimester (the last third) of pregnancy. |
|+||Preeclampsia occurs most frequently in first pregnancies. It is more common in women who have diabetes or who are carrying twins. Some women seem to have a strong tendency to develop the disease and suffer from preeclampsia with every pregnancy. Preeclampsia is more common in daughters of women who have been affected; in many cases the disease tends to run in families. |
|+||Preeclampsia can be a sign of serious problems. It may, for example, indicate that the placenta is detaching from the uterus. In some cases, untreated preeclampsia can progress to eclampsia, a life-threatening situation for both mother and fetus characterized by coma and seizures. |
|+||Treatment is by bed rest and sometimes medication. If that treatment is ineffective, the induction of labor and delivery or a C-section may have to be considered. Preeclampsia always resolves a short time after the baby is born.|
|+||Preeclampsia is sometimes written pre-eclampsia. The old name for it was toxemia.|