Dr. Lam recalls the differences between preeclampsia and pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) and describes eclampsia.
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Preeclampsia vs. Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension Well preeclampsia for a long time has gone by different names and toxemia is the lay person’s term for preeclampsia. Some people may hear the term ‘PIH’ thrown about and PIH is really in archaic term the sense for pregnancy-induced hypertension, which in the past was used interchangeably with preeclampsia. With the most recent derivations and organization of the disease of preeclampsia what we see is that women have preeclampsia, which is a hypertension and loss of protein in the blood in pregnancy, they can have gestational hypertension, which is just simply elevated blood pressures in pregnancy alone, and they can have chronic hypertension, which means hypertension that existed before they got pregnant and then continues to plague them in pregnancy, and then they can have superimposed preeclampsia, which means that they may have had some sort of hypertensive disease in pregnancy and now it turns in a preeclampsia. Well eclampsia is the actual act of seizing in pregnancy and fortunately it happens relatively rarely in pregnancy overall. When it does happen, it is considered an obstetric emergency and what we would normally do in a woman who seizes is try to stop her from seizing any further with immediate dosing of medications whether it’s through an IV or through an injection. Usually when a woman seizes, it’s a marker of such severe preeclamptic disease that she necessitates delivery and more often than not, we deliver those women quite quickly after they seize.