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Hellp Syndrome

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

HELLP syndrome is a life-threatening condition that usually occurs in pregnant women who have high blood pressure (BP). Your risk also increases if you had preeclampsia in a past pregnancy or are older than 40 with this pregnancy. HELLP syndrome usually develops between week 20 and the end of pregnancy. It can also develop a few days after the baby is delivered. Get medical care immediately if you have any symptoms of HELLP syndrome.

Blood Pressure Readings

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:

  • 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 healthcare provider to constantly monitor your baby's heartbeat and heart rate. It also allows your healthcare provider 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.

Blood tests

may be used to check liver function, how well your blood clots, and if you have enough red blood cells.

Treatment:

  • Giving birth may stop HELLP syndrome.
  • A transfusion may be done to give you platelets. Platelets help your blood clot.

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. This may 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.

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 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 IBM Watson Health

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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Hellp Syndrome (Inpatient Care)

Associated drugs

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