HELLP Syndrome During Pregnancy

HELLP syndrome in pregnancy is a grievous and critical obstetric situation usually regarded to be a version of an abnormal state of pregnancy characterized by hypertension and fluid retention and proteinuria.

These conditions take place during the third trimester of pregnancy, and in some cases immediately after childbirth.

HELLP is a shortened form of a word of the following:

  • Hemolytic anemia or hemolysis (Anemia resulting from destruction of erythrocytes)


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  • Elevated Liver enzymes and
  • Low Platelet count.

Hellp syndrome in pregnant women must be treated as early as possible and depending on the security of the symptoms, it is important to induce labor in order to prevent serious and lasting consequences including irreversible liver damage.

Treating HELLP syndrome in pregnancy

Hellp syndrome during pregnancy can only be effectively treated by inducing prompt delivery of the baby. A number of medicines have been looked into for the handling of HELLP syndrome in pregnant women, but evidence is contradictory over whether the administration of magnesium sulfate diminishes the chances of an epileptic seizure and instead advances towards eclampsia, which is a toxic condition characterized by convulsions and possibly coma during or immediately after pregnancy.

Immediately after delivery, the patient may treated with fresh frozen blood plasma to fill up the clotting proteins, while the anemia may call for the introduction of blood in the body. In moderate cases, steroid hormonal medications and drugs that reduce high blood pressure may be administered. Administration of nutrients through a vein is also needed on order to supply the body with essential nutrients and to help in building the platelet count levels. In the event of life threatening bleeding, hepatic hemorrhage is handled with embolization.

Symptoms of HELLP syndrome in pregnancy

When a pregnant woman starts to display symptoms off preeclampsia, the doctor usually recommends additional testing to rule out the incidence of Hellp syndrome. Blood testing is usually done to keep a tab on the liver enzymes and the platelet count. Patients with the syndrome experience severe fatigue and intense tiredness. Other symptoms pointing to the disorder include pain in the upper right part of the stomach.

The woman may also experience unmanageable headaches and feelings of nausea and vomiting. One may also experience swelling, especially on the face and the hands. In rare situations, there may be noticeable bleeding from the gums. The syndrome may be difficult to detect as most healthy pregnant women experience these symptoms unrelated to the disease late in pregnancy, hence it is not easy to know for sure if the patient is experiencing HELLP syndrome.

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