Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific form of hypertension that presents
a major health problem worldwide. Preeclampsia complicates 5% to 8% of all
pregnancies and increases both maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.1,2 The mainstay of therapy for preeclampsia
remains clinical recognition through prenatal care and termination of the
disease process with delivery. Maternal mortality has been reduced in the
United States, but in countries where prenatal care is not adequate, preeclampsia/eclampsia
accounts for 40% to 80% of maternal deaths, an estimated 50 000 per year.
Many of these deaths may be preventable with prenatal care and evidence-based
prophylactic seizure therapy.
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