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Preeclampsia

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Preeclampsia, a condition linked to high blood pressure late in pregnancy, is the leading cause of pregnancy complications, including eclampsia, the second leading cause of maternal death in the United States. Women who are obese, have high blood pressure, are older than 40 or younger than 20 are particularly at risk. There is no cure for this condition aside from delivering the baby—which sometimes means premature delivery. Early knowledge is the key to avoiding complications from preeclampsia. Regular prenatal appointments with your physician at Florida Hospital will allow him or her to monitor your condition and take necessary steps when needed.

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Preeclampsia, the leading cause of pregnancy complications—including low birth weight, premature birth and stillbirth—is a condition marked by a spike in high blood pressure after 20 weeks of gestation and protein in the mother’s urine as a result of kidney problems. Also known as toxemia, preeclampsia affects the placenta, and can deleteriously affect the mother’s kidney, liver and brain as well. If the preeclampsia causes seizures, the condition becomes known as eclampsia, which is the second leading cause of maternal death in the United States.

There is no cure for preeclampsia other than delivering the fetus—and in some cases, it might need to be delivered immediately, even prematurely. If the condition is severe and the baby is not delivered, the mother could die. 

Locations for Preeclampsia