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Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia explained
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In brief: testing and treatment for pre-eclampsia


© PHOTOS.COM / Jupiterimages
© PHOTOS.COM / Jupiterimages
The only treatment of pre-eclampsia is delivery of the baby. When delivery is the only safe option, it is normal to induce labour at later stages of pregnancy or opt for caesarean section when the pregnancy is more premature.

Hospital admission
is often advised even for less severe cases of pre-eclampsia, particularly when a woman is prior to term. Doctors may assess the severity of the disease with a range of tests:

  • Regular blood pressure checks - Blood pressure can change very rapidly so careful monitoring is essential.
  • Urine samples - to gauge the amount protein in urine.
  • Blood tests - blood count, kidney & liver function tests to assess the severity of the disease.
  • Ultrasound scan - Pre-eclampsia can slow the development of babies, making them small. Medical professionals may also check the volume of liquid around the baby as an indication of how well the placenta is performing.
  • CTG's - monitoring of the baby's heart.

By repeating these kinds of tests over a few days and monitoring the progression of the condition, your medical team can decide whether early delivery is necessary.


Suzanne Baum
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