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Study: Hypertension, pre-eclampsia signal post-partum problems

Medical researchers recently uncovered a link between pre-natal complications and potentially-dangerous post-natal hypertension, a revelation North Carolina parents may want to understand. Within 72 hours of birth, women can fall victim to medical complications resulting from elevated blood-pressure levels if doctors fail to monitor a patient's vital signs.

Complications associated with pre-natal hypertension (high blood pressure) have long been investigated, but little about the post-partum effects of high blood pressure has been published until a medical journal recently shared this study. According to the study, those who sustain a dangerously high blood pressure after birth risk developing a fatal brain hemorrhage.

Most often, pre-eclampsia is characterized by elevated blood pressure and seizures during gestation. If left untreated, the condition can be fatal. In this case, it is just as vital for doctors to carefully monitor a woman's condition in the critical days and hours before giving birth as it is afterward.

Although some may anticipate post-birth complications in women who have pre-eclampsia or hypertension before delivering their children, the study also found that a number of women who have problem-free births are at risk of sustaining high blood pressures. Women normally experience high blood pressure after giving birth, but problems emerge when the pressure does not fall back to normal levels.

As a result of these findings, doctors and nurses should be vigilant about checking a woman's blood pressure in the hours after they have their child. This is particularly true if they demonstrated signs of complication throughout the pregnancy, but it seems to be a good safety precaution for all women. Any complication that arises during or after birth is cause for concern, but those issues that can be monitored and mitigated are especially alarming.

Source: Science Daily, "Women With Pre-Eclampsia Are at Higher Risk of Complications Following Childbirth," Jan. 10, 2013

  • Our firm has helped families deal with the aftermath of a medical error that occurred during or after child. To find out more, please see out Raleigh pregnancy complication page.

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