WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe form of nausea and vomiting that happens during pregnancy. Hyperemesis is more severe than morning sickness. It may cause you to have nausea or vomiting all day for many days. It may also keep you from getting enough food and liquid.
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.
Hyperemesis may cause you to lose too much weight. Vomiting caused by hyperemesis may damage or tear the tissue in your esophagus. It may also cause you to become dehydrated. If this happens, you may need to go to the hospital to get fluids through an IV. Severe hyperemesis may cause you to have a baby with a low birth weight. Without treatment, hyperemesis can lead to malnutrition and damage to organs such as your kidneys and liver. Hyperemesis can be life-threatening.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
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.
Medicines and supplements:
- Antihistamine: This may be given to help decrease nausea and vomiting.
- Antiemetic medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and help control vomiting.
- Vitamin B6: This vitamin may be given to help decrease nausea and vomiting.
- Sedative: This medicine is given to help you stay calm and relaxed.
- Vitamin and mineral supplements: Caregivers may give you vitamin or mineral supplements to increase the level of vitamins and minerals in your body. Vitamins and minerals may be given in your IV, as a shot, or by mouth.
- Blood tests: You may need blood taken to give caregivers information about how your body is working. The blood may be taken from your hand, arm, or IV.
- Urine sample: For this test you need to urinate into a small container. You will be given instructions on how to clean your genital area before you urinate. Do not touch the inside of the cup. Follow instructions on where to place the cup of urine when you are done.
- External fetal heart monitoring: Caregivers may use this to monitor your baby's heartbeat, and the contractions of your uterus. A small metal disc (monitor) with gel on it is placed on your abdomen. A belt will be fastened around your waist to hold the monitor in place. The monitor may need to be moved as your baby moves inside you. It may also be put on and taken off, or left in place. The monitor is attached to a machine with a TV-type screen, or a printer. The screen or the paper print out shows a tracing of your uterus contracting, and the baby's heartbeat.
- Heart monitor: This is also called an ECG or EKG. Sticky pads placed on your skin record your heart's electrical activity.
- Intake and output: Caregivers will keep track of the amount of liquid you are getting. They also may need to know how much you are urinating. Ask how much liquid you should drink each day. Ask caregivers if they need to measure or collect your urine.
- Pulse oximeter: A pulse oximeter is a device that measures the amount of oxygen in your blood. A cord with a clip or sticky strip is placed on your finger, ear, or toe. The other end of the cord is hooked to a machine. Never turn the pulse oximeter or alarm off. An alarm will sound if your oxygen level is low or cannot be read.
- Abdominal ultrasound: This test is done so caregivers can see the tissues and organs of your abdomen. Gel will be put on your abdomen and a small sensor will be moved across your abdomen. The sensor uses sound waves to send pictures of your abdomen to a TV-like screen.
- Vital signs: Caregivers will check your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask about your pain. These vital signs give caregivers information about your current health.
- NPO: NPO means that you will not be given anything to eat or drink by mouth. You will get food and liquids through a feeding tube. When your caregiver says it is okay, you may start eating foods slowly. You will be given small, bland meals to see if you can handle them.
- An IV (intravenous) is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
- TPN: TPN stands for total parenteral nutrition. It is also called hyperalimentation. It provides your body with nutrition such as protein, sugar, vitamins, minerals, and sometimes fat (lipids). TPN is used when you have problems with eating or digesting food. TPN is usually put into your body through a large IV catheter, such as a central line. You may need TPN for several days or longer.
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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.