Relating Anesthesia Practice to Patient Care of
Pregnant Women with Hypertension Disorders
The need to understand and take care of the delicate conditions of pregnant women is a meticulous part of health care. Pregnancy is a miracle in the making. Despite the advancement of medical technology and vastness of current medical knowledge, it still does not fail to baffle medical experts with its complexity. Therefore, complications during pregnancy are an intriguing issue that medical researchers often study. Hypertension disorders to pregnant women are an interesting angle, not only because of its complex pathophysiologies but also because of the potential dangers that they cause to the patient and her unborn.
The topics covered in this term paper are the pathophysiological effects of hypertension disorders to pregnant women, particularly HELLP Syndrome, Pre-eclampsia, and Eclampsia. The symptoms of the conditions, current treatment methods, and relation to anesthesia practice will be discussed. This paper goes into a discussion of how these three disorders may be affected, positively or negatively, by the introduction of anesthesia.
Pathophysiology can be described as a study of mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions and their changes that may lead to a diagnosis of an abnormality or disease (Scanlon & Fawkes, 1999). This branch of medicine observes abnormal body functions that may be an effect of prodormal symptoms of illness. Pathophysiology is different from physiology in the sense that physiology makes use of observations, while the former makes us of quantitative data and measures.
HELLP is an acronym for the findings that result from a patient tested with HELLP Syndrome. The patient manifests Hemolytic anemia, Elevated Liver enzymes, and Low Platelet count. Common symptoms of a patient with HELLP Syndrome are pregnancy-induced hypertension, pre-eclampsia, onset of blurred vision, headaches, nausea/vomiting, malaise, upper abdominal pain, paresthesia, possible edema, arterial hypertension, and, in worst cases, seizures and coma (Padden, 1999). A delicate symptom of the syndrome involves disseminated intravascular coagulation, especially when the patient has been diagnosed with acute renal failure.
HELLP can easily be misdiagnosed at its onset and could lead to higher risks of liver complications and morbidity. Given these facts, it is quite easy to see why obstetric anesthesia professionals find it important to closely monitor the cases of such patients, especially during the administration of local or general anesthetic.
In diagnosed HELLP cases, it is highly recommended to promptly deliver the child. Certain studies prove and disprove the efficacy of magnesium sulfate in controlling seizures and preventing the progress to eclampsia. Fresh frozen plasma is needed to refill coagulation proteins for DIC treatment. The best solution to anemia is to execute blood transfusion, although ingestion of medication may prove sufficient in milder anemia cases. Intravenous fluids are required after the delivery. Embolization is the advisable measure against hepatic hemorrhage to avoid dangerous excessive bleeding (Padden, 1999).
Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy condition wherein hypertension and proteinuria manifest in a patient. It is often diagnosed when a patient ...