There are many multi-system diseases that affect numerous lives every day. One of those, known as preeclampsia, affects women who are pregnant. Because this disease can lead to death if not treated, nurses play a pivotal role in assessing, managing, and educating women with this disease.
Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder; however, the actual cause of the disease is unknown. Because this condition begins at conception, it is believed that the placenta plays an important role in causing preeclampsia. In women without preeclampsia, the spiral arteries in the placenta remodel to allow sufficient oxygen and blood flow to the fetus. In preeclamptic women, the remodeling of the spiral arteries does not take place, resulting in narrow vessels and hypoperfusion. This, combined with placental infarction, can lead to placental hypoxia.
As this condition progresses, numerous maternal complications occur at the same time depending upon the “extent of the inflammatory process and the maternal response to those inflammatory signals” (Townsend & Drummond, 2011, p. 246). This “hype…
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