HELLP syndrome is a life-threatening liver disorder that very few people have heard about. Our very own Dr. Hampton Richards delivered Lauren Przybyl’s baby boy six weeks early, as she herself was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome. During an interview with FOX 4, Dr. Richards explains the symptoms and pregnancy complications of the rare HELLP disorder.
“HELLP Syndrome is a severe variation of preeclampsia,” Dr. Richards says, “Most women have heard of preeclampsia, which is a blood pressure disease in pregnancy. Preeclampsia is typically very slow in progression, which will explain why throughout your pregnancy checkups, your doctor will test you for high blood pressure and urine changes.”
HELLP Syndrome Stands for:
- Hemolysis- red cells breaking down
- Elevated liver enzymes- damage to your liver
- Low platelet count
Symptoms of HELLP Syndrome:
- Spots in vision
- Pain near liver
- High blood pressure
- Protein in the urine
HELLP syndrome is such a rare atypical variation of preeclampsia that each patient has different experiences. “We see that atypical preeclampsia acts atypical,” says Dr. Richards. Some patients with a slow progression of the disease, and some experience a fast progression, much like Lauren’s situation.
Treatment of HELLP Syndrome
If you suddenly feel like something’s not right or experience any of the symptoms listed above, it is important to speak to your doctor immediately, as HELLP syndrome can be life-threatening.
“It’s really important for patients to trust their instincts,” says Dr. Richards, “Really the best solution is to deliver the baby immediately. If it’s not a safe place for mom, it’s not a safe place for a baby, and that’s the option we have.”
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