Complications of postpartum preeclampsia include:

  • Postpartum eclampsia. Postpartum eclampsia is essentially postpartum preeclampsia plus seizures. Postpartum eclampsia can permanently damage vital organs, including your brain, liver and kidneys. Left untreated, postpartum eclampsia can cause coma. In some cases, the condition is fatal.
  • Pulmonary edema. This life-threatening lung condition occurs when excess fluid develops in the lungs.
  • Stroke. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and food. A stroke is a medical emergency.
  • Thromboembolism. Thromboembolism is the blockage of a blood vessel by a blood clot that travels from another part of the body. This condition is also a medical emergency.
  • HELLP syndrome. HELLP syndrome — which stands for hemolysis (the destruction of red blood cells), elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count — can be life-threatening.

As with preeclampsia, postpartum preeclampsia might also increase your risk of future cardiovascular disease.

Apr. 26, 2012