HELLP syndrome is one of the most dangerous complications of preeclampsia in pregnancy. It usually occurs before 37 weeks and can endanger the life of the mother and the baby.
It is important to remember all the symptoms and take immediate measures when they appear, to be treated as quickly as possible and to avoid complications.
What is HELLP Syndrome?
HELLP syndrome is a complication of one of the most severe conditions that can occur during pregnancy: preeclampsia. The syndrome combines disorders of the liver and blood coagulation. His name is an acronym that translates as follows: H - hemolysis; EL - growth of liver enzymes in the blood; LP - low level of platelets.
How does HELLP syndrome manifest?
The first symptoms of the syndrome can be very similar to those of preeclampsia. These include:
- nausea / vomiting / indigestion;
- feeling sick and tired;
- epigastric (abdominal) or substantial (chest) pain;
- shoulder pain;
- pain in breathing;
- stomach burns;
- bleeding (nasal, vaginal);
- visual disturbances (blurred vision);
- swelling of the hands, feet and face.
How is the diagnosis made?
If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, it is advisable to call a doctor. He can detect HELLP syndrome as a result of: a physical examination; tests to detect the functioning problems of the liver; by computer scanning etc.
What are the complications of HELLP syndrome?
If it is not discovered in time or is detected in an advanced phase, several health problems may occur, some of them extremely serious.
If the syndrome is not detected as quickly as possible, 1 in 4 women risk severe complications and some of them even die:
- serious disorders of blood coagulation;
- breathing difficulties (may result in asphyxiation or the need for artificial ventilation);
- pulmonary edema (fluid in blood);
- renal insufficiency;
- severe liver disorders;
- abruptio placenta and other placenta complications;
- cerebral hemorrhage etc.
How is HELLP syndrome treated?
Sometimes, the safest and most effective treatment for this complication is the rapid birth of the child. Most of the time the birth is premature. This is necessary because if liver problems already occur due to the syndrome they can severely affect the mother and baby. You can call a Caesarean section in an emergency or your doctor may prescribe medications to induce your labor.
You could get a blood transfusion if you have severe bleeding problems associated with the syndrome. Also, your doctor may give you treatment for high blood pressure. If the baby is over 1000 grams at birth, then the survival rate is quite high and has the same chances as babies born to mothers who did not have HELLP syndrome.
But if it weighs less than 1000 grams then the survival rate drops considerably. HELLP syndrome in the mother only affects the baby indirectly. The baby will receive corticosteroids after birth to help the lungs grow faster.
Can HELLP syndrome be prevented during pregnancy?
Unfortunately, this complication cannot be prevented. As neither eclampsia nor preeclampsia can be combated by certain measures taken before or during pregnancy. All you can do is take the necessary steps to have it detected as soon as it appears, to put both your health and your baby in shelter.
- try to get fit with your health and fitness before you become pregnant;
- respects all prenatal visits established by the doctor;
- inform your doctor about all the health problems you have and regarding your medical history and family (if you have had any cases of risky pregnancies in the family, if you have suffered from this syndrome or pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, etc.). )
- retain all symptoms and take action if you recognize them by going to the doctor's emergency.
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