Dr. Lam discusses the HELLP syndrome and the way it affects mothers.
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What Is the HELLP Syndrome Preeclampsia overall is still, relatively speaking, a black box in medicine. We don’t know what causes it; we don’t know how to-- because we don’t know what causes it we don’t know how to adequately treat it except for delivery and it has actually almost become a generalized term through which we put different types of disease that fit the general criteria of blood pressure and loss of protein within the box of preeclampsia. HELLP syndrome or HELLP is considered right now a variant of severe preeclampsia. And HELLP syndrome stands for the different facets that we see in patients who have this type of disease. They have what’s called hemolysis or breakup of red blood cells, elevated liver function tests, so the liver enzymes are elevated in the blood and they have low platelets. Platelets are the aspects in the blood that help with clotting. When a patient presents with those three facets within the disease of preeclampsia, that’s considered HELLP syndrome.