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Hellp Syndrome

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is HELLP syndrome?

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

What health problems can HELLP syndrome cause?

HELLP stands for H emolysis, E levated L iver enzymes, L ow P latelet count:

What are the signs and symptoms of HELLP syndrome?

How is HELLP syndrome diagnosed?

Tell your healthcare provider about your symptoms and when they began. Tell him or her if you have a personal or family history of high BP, HELLP syndrome, or preeclampsia or eclampsia. Blood tests check liver function, how well your blood clots, and if you have enough red blood cells.

How is HELLP syndrome treated?

Giving birth may stop HELLP syndrome. Medicines can delay labor or mature your baby's lungs if he or she is not ready to be born. Medicines can also help lower your blood pressure or prevent seizures. You may need a blood transfusion if you have severe bleeding.

What can I do to care for myself?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US), or have someone call if:

When should I call my obstetrician?

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. 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.

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