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A 34-year-old primigravida at 36/40 is sent to the Obstetric Assessment Unit after a routine midwife visit, where she had a blood pressure of 170/100 mmHg. She also has epigastric pain. Urine dipstick shows protein +++.
What percentage of patients with pre-eclampsia go on to develop eclampsia?
Key Learning Point
Eclampsia, although rare, does occur in up to 2% of pregnancies that are already complicated by pre-eclampsia.
Eclampsia is the occurrence of a tonic-clonic seizure in the presence of a diagnosis of pre-eclampsia.
1-2% of pregnancies with pre-eclampsia are complicated by eclamptic fits. It may also be the first presentation of pre-eclampsia. Two-fifths of fits occur in the antenatal period, one fifth intrapartum, and the remainder in the postnatal period.
The HELLP syndrome occurs in 4-12%, although other texts quote 5-20%, in patients with a diagnosed pre-eclampsia.
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