Eclampsia: symptoms and treatment

Eclampsia is a complication of pregnancy, in which blood pressure increases dramatically and unexpectedly (it is difficult to return to normal). Also, a woman has a high protein content in the urine and a strong swelling of the extremities. There are two ways out of this condition — withdrawal of symptoms or coma. This pathological condition can harm the health of not only the future mother, but also the unborn baby.

In the world, approximately one percent of the female population is exposed to eclampsia during pregnancy. Much more often, almost ten percent, pregnant women suffer pre-eclampsia. Symptoms of this process are the same as in eclampsia, but they do not manifest themselves so much.

Eclampsia in pregnant women may appear on late pregnancy, or on the first day after childbirth. Most often, this disease occurs in young girls who give birth to the first child or women whose births are for forty years and older.


The main cause of eclampsia attacks in pregnant women is a rapid increase in pressure, which in turn arises because of:

  • various renal infections;
  • the young age of a future mother, whose body can not withstand such a change in the structure of the organism
  • The first birth in a woman’s life
  • manifestations of such a disease in previous pregnancies, but only if the father of children is the same man
  • bearing several fruits
  • malnutrition during pregnancy;
  • abuse of a future mother by alcohol or nicotine
  • Lupus;
  • genetic predisposition;
  • chronic infectious diseases that a woman suffers from during pregnancy;
  • overweight future mother;
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • gastritis.


Since eclampsia can affect several organs, depending on which of them is subjected to the «attack» of the disease, the type of disease is also determined:

  1. renal eclampsia — accompanied by convulsions, causes coma and anuria
  2. hepatic — characterized by a structure disorder and a liver function disorder
  3. cerebral — may cause cerebral hemorrhage or stroke;
  4. comatose — brain edema.

By the time of manifestation, eclampsia may occur:

  • From the sixth month until the end of pregnancy. It is almost seventy percent probability;
  • directly during childbirth — observed in a quarter of cases of illness
  • on the first day after childbirth — less than two percent. Postpartum eclampsia is provoked by pain shock, which is borne by a woman giving birth to a child.

By expression forms, eclampsia can manifest itself:

  1. with one-time cramps, but recurring;
  2. complex convulsions
  3. coma.

For the duration of convulsive seizures, the disease is divided into phases:

  • initial — duration of thirty seconds, manifestation only on the muscles of the face
  • Medium — stretching from ten to twenty seconds, spasm spreads to the entire body, capturing the respiratory muscles. May lead to death;
  • medium gravity — for a period of thirty to ninety seconds. Cramps move from top to bottom, there is no pulse and no breath. The attack ends with a deep breath and intermittent breathing;
  • Heavy, for which the characteristic is the allocation of foam (sometimes with blood impurities) from the mouth, a pulse appears. A woman either regains consciousness, or falls into a coma.


A characteristic feature of eclampsia is increased blood pressure and convulsions. But the manifestation of eclampsia is preceded by symptoms such as:

  1. Weakened body
  2. tinnitus
  3. Sleep disorder
  4. persistent nausea;
  5. Uncontrollable vomiting
  6. decreased visual acuity;
  7. bright flashes before your eyes
  8. severe headache;
  9. short-term loss of consciousness
  10. forgetfulness
  11. irritability;
  12. decreased urine output, which indicates renal damage.


Complications are manifested depending on the severity of the condition of the pregnant woman, her age and the presence of other diseases.

The consequences of eclampsia are:

  • placental abruption;
  • impaired development of the fetus
  • hemorrhage in the brain
  • paralysis
  • Insufficiency of organs such as liver and kidneys
  • pulmonary edema and brain;
  • heart problems;
  • coma;
  • fatal outcome for a woman or fetus.


It is quite easy to diagnose eclampsia, as the signs of this disease are characteristic of women only during pregnancy, or within a few hours after childbirth. In normal life, this pathological condition can not be manifested. It is important to distinguish the effect of this disease on the brain, and exclude an aneurysm, epilepsy, a brain tumor. To do this:

  1. Radiography to eliminate suspicions of lung pathology
  2. CT — to indicate the state of the brain
  3. NMRT
  4. ECG
  5. urine and blood tests

If a pregnant woman starts an eclampsia attack at home, she should give her first emergency aid, consisting of:

  • Immediate calling of the ambulance;
  • ensuring the safety of women, for this it is laid on the left side of the body, on a flat surface
  • preventing the closure of the mouth with an object wrapped around gauze and located between the molars
  • putting the language out
  • removing vomit, mucus or foam
  • If necessary, perform a heart massage
  • provide heat.

Upon completion of the aforementioned activities, doctors should be expected to arrive. Then the patient is transported to the hospital, placed in a separate ward and carried out medical measures.


Therapy of a pregnant woman with eclampsia is:

  1. ensuring complete peace;
  2. protection from stress and bad news
  3. Droppers with sedatives
  4. normalization of pressure;
  5. increased urination
  6. Recovering the functioning of the brain

In addition, the woman is under the constant supervision of doctors who monitor the vital signs on the monitors, and if necessary, carry out resuscitation. The most important point of treatment is artificial delivery with caesarean section.


Prophylaxis of eclampsia is directed to:

  • timely detection and treatment of infections that can cause the onset of such a disease
  • regular consultations of pregnant women with a gynecologist
  • daily pressure measurement (you can keep a diary);
  • Full rest and sleep, which should be nine hours;
  • Physical limitations
  • spending a lot of time outdoors
  • Pregnancy planning and detailed body preparation for it

  • full nutrition, enriched with vitamins, calcium, as well as nutrients and minerals