To worry about some people's shocking lack of awareness regarding pre-eclampsia

(15 Posts)
Fansas Sun 11-Sep-16 20:29:02

I count myself among those, as until last week I knew it was a risk in pregnancy, but dying in this day and age, I thought was avoidable. Until my friend died of it. I kept talking to her about taking it the risks more seriously. Everyone around us, all our friends, family, even her herself (though undergoing weekly monitoring), seemed to have a shocking lack of regard for the real risks. After it happened everyone was shocked and everyone kept repeating lines like 'I just didn't know it could still kill', 'why didn't they do more' etc, etc. But she and her baby are dead. And I'm angry, angry they say this and angry at her (which seems so mightily unfair I know) - but she kept saying the midwives were just worrying etc. But why didn't they do more - why didn't they insist on a c-section, she was far enough along. I don't want to scare people, especially pregnant women, but I do want people to take this more seriously. Maybe others do, maybe it is just the circle I know, just sad and angry - I've three young friends dead this year, not all pre-eclampsia of course, but all three for avoidable reasons.

Champagneformyrealfriends Sun 11-Sep-16 20:32:00

God that's awful. I had very mild PET and high blood pressure and was given an induction (which failed) and c-section at 37 weeks so I experienced the opposite really. If anything I felt at the time they should have left me and monitored the situation but having read your post I am so glad they didn't.

Hawkmoth Sun 11-Sep-16 20:32:29

I'm so sorry for your friend and your loss.

I only knew about it in my first pregnancy because of a TV drama.

Champagneformyrealfriends Sun 11-Sep-16 20:33:34

And YANBU-a lot of people didn't know what it was when I told them I had it.

toopeoply Sun 11-Sep-16 20:36:46

Yanbu. It should be discussed much more in early pregnancy. In the neo natal unit about a 3rd of the premature babies were due to prerclampsia. I'm so sorry for your loss x

010816dot Sun 11-Sep-16 20:38:19

I had preeclampsia high blood pressure - monitored from about 24 weeks and admitted from 30 wks - c section at 34 wks @ 1.7 kg - but grew into a very health baby I must admit I didn't realise how serious the condition was at the time or how different things could have turNed out. Sorry for your loss x

darthpaul Sun 11-Sep-16 20:41:29

I'm very sorry for your loss. It's heartbreaking this still happens.

I have had severe early onset pre eclampsia twice now, it started at 22 weeks the first time, diagnosed properly at 26 weeks and baby delivered at 30 weeks. My consultant made me well aware of the danger I was in, and kept me as an inpatient for weeks on end. She used to tell me pre eclampsia is dangerous because it is unpredictable and can move extremely fast from mild to severe with little outward signs.

Northernlurker Sun 11-Sep-16 20:41:31

How terrible for you. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask how this has happened. Eclampsia is a killer yes, but in the UK, in a woman with known pre eclampsia, the overwhelmingly likelihood is that it should be well managed enough to be survived. Dreadful that you've had this terrible loss.

mineofuselessinformation Sun 11-Sep-16 20:51:28

I'm sorry about your friend.
I know someone who had pre-eclampsia. Whilst they and their baby survived, the baby was delivered very early, and the mother now has permanent liver damage. She had been visibly ill for weeks.
It shouldn't happen.

SarcasmMode Sun 11-Sep-16 20:53:51

God that is awful - I'm so sorry OP flowers

It's one of those things you just don't expect to happen to you.

I had pre-eclampsia in my first pregnancy and was induced and then had an EMCS as my BP rocketed and even intravenous ferrous sulphate was just keeping me even.

At the time I just went with the flow and dealt with it but afterwards talking to the MWs and how close I was to having a seizure. Or if I went into labour on my own...

I kept getting UTIs and just didn't feel right so I pushed for further investigations. It's scary to think what could've happened.

Your friend was so unlucky but dying from PE although rarer, still happens. A friend of my Mums friend died a few days after birth due to eclampsia.

It's truly heartbreaking.

The MWs do tell you what to watch out for. With my second pregnancy I also had a blood pressure machine at home-- I was taking no chances.

flowers to you and your friends loved ones.

MrsJoeyMaynard Sun 11-Sep-16 20:55:14

Sorry for your loss.

I knew about how serious pre-eclampsia could be before I conceived DC1, but really only because of what my mum had told me about my birth - I was born by c-section as my mum had pre-eclampsia with me and things started going downhill very very rapidly.

It's not something I was given any information on in any of my pregnancies, but maybe the midwives and doctors only talk to women about the risks if it's a woman who has pre-eclampsia?

dailymaillazyjournos Sun 11-Sep-16 20:59:28

Yanbu. I am so sorry about your poor friend. I'm not surprised that amongst other things you are angry .

I had high bp throughout pregnancy which was very poorly managed. I ended up with pre eclampsia at 36 weeks and had an emcs. Dd ended up in picu for 10 days with respiratory distress and I was in icu for a week. We were both lucky to survive. That was 30 years ago. There still needs to be more awareness of this serious complication by the sounds of your poor friend.

ImsotiredImsotired Sun 11-Sep-16 21:11:07

I also had pre-eclampsia. I was admitted to hospital for a week then given a c-section at 37 weeks. It was a very worrying time. I'm sorry for your loss.

exLtEveDallas Sun 11-Sep-16 21:26:09

The thing is, pre-eclampsia can change in a blink of an eye. I was admitted at 23 weeks with it. The midwife had sent me to the hosp every other day for a couple of weeks with a very high BP, but by the time I got there I was fine, had settled and was sent home within a couple of hours. I felt fine and I was annoyed with the mw for exaggerating.

Eventually the hosp had enough and said they'd admit me for the weekend, monitor me closely and then release me on Monday with a clean bill of health to take back to the MW.

I went in on Fri morning. On Sat morning I got up on my knees on the bed to give DD a 'shake' because I though she was lying awkward and making my ribs ache. I remember getting into position. Then nothing.

I woke up in ITU on Sunday evening. Essentially my BP had risen so quickly something 'burst' in my brain.

I was lucky. I was 'on site'. If I had been at home...well, I wouldn't be here and neither would DD (in fact I wouldn't have even been missed until I didn't go to work on Monday morning)

But right until that moment I felt fine, perfect, absolutely healthy. Yes I had swollen ankles and yes a couple of times my vision had blurred...but, nothing. I was fine.

Needless to say, I didn't go home Monday. I stayed in until I was induced - and even that was a "right, you're having the baby tomorrow or you'll be dead by the weekend"...from weeks of being monitored and told I was stable.

I'm sorry for your loss, I understand your anger, but honestly, sometimes you just can't tell.

Madratlady Sun 11-Sep-16 21:28:55

I had a sudden onset of pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome at 35+4 with my first child. I had atypical symptoms, as my BP was normal until I suddenly became very unwell. They dismissed my symptoms (severe nausea and upper abdominal pain) as anxiety as I had an induction booked due to baby not growing properly. Then I rang the maternity unit when I became unwell and was told it was a stomach bug and to come in for my monitoring the next day as planned. I still wonder if me and baby would have survived if I had listened to that advice. As it was I went to a&e and waited for a couple of hours to be assessed then got sent to maternity who were shocked I hadn't come in sooner. Ds was delivered as soon as they felt I was stable enough for a C section.

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