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Pregnancy Induced Hypertension

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Pregnancy Induced Hypertension, Preeclampsia, & Eclampsia
Tessa K. Larsen
Mercy College of Health Sciences

Abstract Pregnancy induced hypertension or Gestational hypertension, is a condition of high blood pressure unique to human pregnancy. Hypertension during pregnancy affects about 5-10% of all pregnant women worldwide (Baker, 2004, P. 16). Hypertension can prevent the placenta from getting enough blood. If the placenta does not receive enough blood, the baby gets insufficient amounts of oxygen and nutrients. This can result in low birth weight and other severe complications (Simkin, Walley, Keppler, 2008, P. 75). Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) can lead to a serious condition called preeclampsia or also known as toxemia (Baker, 2004, P.11). Women at most risk can be characterized by extremes of maternal age which are under the age of eighteen and over the age of thirty five, first-time mother’s, obesity, have a family history of this condition, or are carrying multiples (“Risk Factors”, 1995, P. 645). Preeclampsia happens between 20 weeks of gestation and 6 weeks postpartum (Baker, 2004, p.60).
In the worst circumstances preeclampsia if left untreated can lead to eclampsia, a fatal condition (Simkin et al, 2008, P. 77). Most women still can deliver a healthy baby if preeclampsia is detected early and treated with regular prenatal care. If pregnancy induced hypertension and preeclampsia is severe, much more serious affects can occur. Such as a seizure or death. There is no cure but there are ways to treat and prevent this condition.
Key words: Pregnancy induced hypertension, Preeclampsia, Eclampsia

Pregnancy Induced Hypertension

A woman’s blood pressure normally drops during the middle trimester of pregnancy and then returns to her first trimester levels in the last part of pregnancy. Gestational hypertension is defined as a systolic…...

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