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Hellp Syndrome

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

HELLP ( H emolysis, E levated L iver enzymes, L ow P latelet count) syndrome is a life-threatening complication of pregnancy. HELLP syndrome may develop any time between week 20 of your pregnancy and a few days after you give birth. HELLP syndrome may happen with or without preeclampsia. You may not have any symptoms. The cause is not known.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

HELLP syndrome is life-threatening to you and your baby. Your lungs or brain can fill with fluid. A blood clot in your brain can cause a stroke. Your liver, kidneys, lungs, or heart may fail. Your retina may separate from the back for your eye, which cause vision problems or blindness. The placenta may pull away from your uterus and cause severe bleeding. You may need to give birth before your baby is ready.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Medicines:

  • Blood pressure medicine may be given to lower your blood pressure.

  • Magnesium sulfate may be given to delay labor or prevent seizures.

  • Steroid hormones may be given to help your baby's lungs mature.

Monitoring:

  • Fetal monitoring will allow your caregiver to constantly monitor your baby's heart beat and heart rate. It also allows your caregiver to tell if there may be a problem.

  • Telemetry is continuous monitoring of your heart rhythm. Sticky pads placed on your skin will connect to an EKG machine that records your heart rhythm.

  • Pulse oximetry will measure the oxygen level in your blood.

Tests:

Blood tests check liver function, how well your blood clots, and if you have enough red blood cells.

Treatment:

  • Giving birth is the best treatment for HELLP syndrome.

  • A transfusion may be done to give you platelets. Platelets help your blood clot.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Hellp Syndrome (Inpatient Care)

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