Dr. Mills recalls what can go wrong when preeclampsia is not treated during pregnancy.
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Some of the things that can, the reason that we approach preeclampsia so aggressively in terms of monitoring for its, whether it’s there and to diagnose it and then to manage it aggressively and treat is because if preeclampsia isn’t diagnosed or treated it can lead to very severe consequences that we mentioned for babies and mothers. One of the dilemmas in doing that is that preeclampsia can evolve very quickly and mothers can appear very healthy and very well and become very ill seriously so in a very short period of time, over a matter of hours, and these conditions, as we mentioned, can affect babies acutely so they lose oxygen, placental abruptions, things that cause moms to lose babies or mothers themselves. Preeclampsia is a serious cause of maternal mortality, or maternal death. When we look at the main causes, high blood pressure often related to preeclampsia, infection, and pulmonary embolism, hypertensions and preeclampsia still remain a major cause. So treating aggressively does help reduce the risk of extreme hypertension that can cause cardiovascular accidents or strokes, bleeding into mother’s brains, pulmonary edema, heart failure, some serious consequences that mothers often don’t survive, even with full support. So it’s one of the conditions that we do take very seriously. We do treat very aggressively. When preeclampsia does appear to be severe knowing that the best treatment is to deliver baby, deliver placenta, treat the conditions like hypertension aggressively, and even doing that, mothers may continue to get ill or worsen their symptoms and their degree of illness for several days before they finally do start getting better. So it is a condition that we do take very seriously because of the potential maternal and fetal consequences.

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