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(ĭklămp`sēə), term applied to toxic complications that can occur late in pregnancy. Toxemiatoxemia
, disease state caused by the presence in the blood of bacterial toxins or other harmful substances. The effects of the bacterial toxins known as endotoxins are relatively uniform, regardless of which bacterial species the toxin comes from, and are separate from the
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 of pregnancy occurs in 10% to 20% of pregnant women; symptoms include headache, vertigo, visual disturbances, vomiting, hypertension, and edema. The four categories of hypertension during pregnancy are pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, chronic hypertension, and transient hypertension. Pre-eclampsia, which occurs late in pregnancy, is characterized by decreased cardiac output and increased blood vessel resistance. It may be prevented with calcium supplements and low-dose aspirin, and a cesarian section is often safer than natural childbirth. Only 5% of of women with pre-eclampsia progress to eclampsia, which is accompanied by convulsions and coma. To avoid renal and cardiovascular damage of the mother and to prevent fetal damage, the condition is treated by termination of pregnancy.



a serious disease occurring during pregnancy, labor, or the postpartum period. Eclampsia is a late stage of toxemia of pregnancy. The condition is characterized by convulsions that develop in a definite sequence. Slight fibrillar contractions of the facial muscles (15–30 seconds) are followed by tonic spasms of the total skeletal musculature and loss of consciousness (15–20 seconds). Clonic muscular spasms of the trunk and limbs occur, and, finally, the woman lapses into a brief or prolonged coma. Consciousness returns gradually. In particularly severe cases, eclampsia may occur without convulsions (comatous forms). Eclampsia is often manifested by only a few convulsions, and high blood pressure may not be a symptom. Death may occur during or after convulsions as a result of pulmonary edema, hemorrhages into the brain, and asphyxia. The fetus often dies in utero from hypoxia. The prognosis depends on the number and duration of the convulsions or on the duration of the coma.

Current treatment of eclampsia is based on principles developed by the Soviet obstetrician-gynecologist V. V. Stroganov in 1928. Total physical and mental rest is prescribed. Functioning of the vital organs is restored: Drugs are administered to decrease the excitability of the central nervous system, to lower blood pressure, and to stimulate urination. Oxygen is administered in cases of pronounced hypoxia, and labor is induced quickly but cautiously. The patient should not be moved during convulsions or while in a coma. Prompt hospitalization is required as soon as consciousness is regained. Prophylaxis includes the prevention of advanced toxemia and prompt hospital treatment of neuropathy and preeclampsia.


Nikolaev, A. P. Pozdnie toksikozy beremennykh. Moscow, 1972.



A disorder occurring during the latter half of pregnancy, characterized by elevated blood pressure, edema, proteinuria, and convulsions or coma.


1. Pathol a toxic condition of unknown cause that sometimes develops in the last three months of pregnancy, characterized by high blood pressure, abnormal weight gain and convulsions
2. another name for milk fever (in cattle)
References in periodicals archive ?
Even with good prenatal care, such as De La Cruz had, a few patients still develop eclamptic seizures, though the problem is more common among women who don't get prenatal care, Druzin noted.
JUST after midnight, seven hours after giving birth, Jacky had her first eclamptic fit.
Eclamptic women with a Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) of 13-15/15 generally do well, and if a CS is required, regional anaesthesia can be considered as long as:
The incidence of serous retinal detachments is approximately 1% for severe pre-eclampsia and 10% for eclamptic patients.
Asif Zia enumerating post natal psychosis and depression, massive haemorrhage, infections, epistaxis in pregnancy, blindness in eclamptic cases and soforth as some of the factors contributory or in any way relevant to maternal morbidity in the country, said there was an urgent need to raise these at professional forums and discuss the same threadbare with adequate provision to help the vulnerable women.
We administer the agent for 24 hours post partum because studies looking at a 48-hour window have shown that most patients who have an eclamptic seizure within 48 hours after delivery will actually experience it within the first 24 hours.
If you thought the situation wasn't bad enough already for Tallulah, watch out for the post-birth eclamptic fit in the future edition
The complications they reported included puerperal sepsis, back and neck pain from anaesthesia, eclamptic fits, and hypothermia of the newborn.
Before Noelle (the pregnancy manikin) arrived, Marianne would put a belly on, become eclamptic and hypertensive, seize, and go into labor.
The primary outcome was severe pregnancy-associated hypertension alone or severe or mild hypertension with elevated liver-enzyme levels, thrombocytopenia, elevated serum creatinine levels, eclamptic seizure, medically indicated preterm birth, fetal-growth restriction or perinatal death.
In a study of 103 women, white matter lesions were observed in 16 of 39 (41%) formerly eclamptic women, in 10 of 35 (29%) formerly preeclamptic women, and 5 of 29 (17%) women who had a nor-motensive pregnancy, lead investigator Annet Aukes and associates reported at the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
Pre-eclamptic and eclamptic patients are at risk from an exaggerated hypertensive response to intubation, potentially resulting in cerebrovascular haemorrhage or pulmonary oedema.