What is eclampsia?

Eclampsia is a serious complication in pregnancy that causes seizures, it can lead to a temporary state of coma, and may cause fetal distress and other medical emergencies. Eclampsia affects only mothers suffering severe cases of preeclampsia, but not all (one in 200 mothers with preeclampsia). In Latin America, eclampsia is responsible for 25% of maternal deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Yet the causes of preeclampsia are known, but could be due to genetic factors, poor nutrition, the functioning of your nervous system and your brain activity. It is known that the more severe are your symptoms of preeclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnancy), the greater your risk of eclampsia.

The following factors are also predisposing eclampsia

If you suffer from preeclampsia and notes these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately and follow his instructions

A seizure in a pregnant woman is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention. Seek help and try to go to bed to prevent a fall.

So you can better recognize the onset of a seizure, familiarize yourself with its four stages

Eclampsia endangers both your health and your baby’s

Eclampsia is no cure. The treatment is to monitor your pregnancy, prevent seizures and the birth of your baby. The goal is to keep stable to give your little time to mature in the uterus and prevent premature labor too. In the case of eclampsia, if your baby has fetal distress or doctor he feels that his life is in danger, an emergency cesarean may be necessary (for more information: Need a Cesarean section 6 medical reasons that warrant?).

The best way to prevent preeclampsia eclampsia is to keep your check and monitor it closely. Your doctor should also rule out other possible reasons for seizures such as epilepsy, aneurysms, brain tumor or reaction to a medication. If necessary, you can prescribe medicines to lower blood pressure or anticonvulsants.

In most cases, eclampsia disappears after the baby is born, although it may also occur in the early postpartum days.

Sources, National Library of Medicine. Eclampsia. Accessed June 24, 2012; Preeclampsia Foundation. What is Eclampsia. Accessed 15 February 2016; World Health Organization. Managing Eclampsia. Accessed June 24, 2012.

Also known as toxemia of pregnancy with convulsions