Preeclampsia, a disorder that affacts pregnant women, is a leading cause of premature birth. Each year, it is to blame for about 76,000 maternal deaths and a half-million infant deaths worldwide.
Characterized by elevated blood pressure and protein in a pregnant mother's urine, preeclampsia affects both the pregnant mother and the growing, unborn child. It can occur during pregnancy and immediately after birth.
Doctors do not fully understand what causes preeclampsia, and the only cure for the condition begins with childbirth.
The best way to battle preeclampsia is to raise awareness about it, so that all expectant moms—and their loved ones—know what signs to look for and when to seek medical help.
Preeclampsia: What You Need to Know
Typically, preeclampsia occurs in the late second or third trimester of pregnancy (after the 20-week mark) and up to six weeks postpartum. Proper prenatal care is essential to diagnose and manage preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia affects the mother's kidneys, liver and other vital organs, and if undetected or untreated, it can lead to seizures (eclampsia), cerebral hemorrhage, failure in vital organs and death. Symptoms can include swelling in the mother’s hands and face, headaches and visual disturbances.
There are several types of preeclampsia, including HELLP syndrome, a particularly dangerous variant. Approximately 5 percent to 8 percent of all pregnancies are impacted by preeclampsia—that’s about 300,000 pregnancies in the U.S. each year.
Raising Awareness Event
May is national Preeclampsia Awareness Month, and Sarasota Memorial’s Labor and Delivery/Women’s and Children’s staff is again participating in this year's Sarasota Promise Walk, which will be held on June 2 at JD Hamel Park. The goal of this very important event is to to support innovative research and educate our local public about the potentially severe illness that affects so many pregnant women in our community. (NOTE: The 2018 was originally set for May 26 but due to forecasted severe weather, it was rescheduled for June 2 to ensure participants' safety.)
Promise Walks are held around the country each year. Team SMH / Sarasota Memorial Maternal Infant Services invites you to join the three-mile Sarasota Promise Walk. Registration is free, and it's a kid-friendly event, so bring the whole family!
Details are below. For more information, call 941-917-4042 or visit www.promisewalk.org/sarasota, where you can register for the walk or make a general donation online.
When: Saturday, June 2, 2018
Where: Starts at JD Hamel Park (Main Street and Gulfstream Avenue, Sarasota, 34236; across from Marina Jack's); walk route crosses the beautiful Ringling Bridge)
8 a.m. — Registration Opens
9 - 9:30 a.m. — Guest speaker, followed by pre-walk warm-up led by Camp Gladiator's Willie Thomas
9:30 a.m. — Start of Promise Walk!
10:30 - 11 a.m. — Silent auction, final raffle and awards