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Pre-eclampsia usually presents as hypertension and proteinuria during the second
half of pregnancy or the puerperium. Eclampsia is the occurrence of convulsions in
association with the pre-eclampsia syndrome, and may occur if pre-eclampsia is
not well controlled. Many of maternal deaths are associated with eclampsia, most
of which occur in developing countries. This is probably due to lack of access to
appropriate care in those settings.
Key messages
􀃎 Eclampsia is a rare but serious complication of pregnancy principally in developing
countries.
􀃎 Magnesium sulphate is substantially more effective than phenytoin in the
treatment of eclampsia for the prevention of further fits.
􀃎 Magnesium sulphate could reduce maternal and perinatal severe morbidity
and mortality and should be available for all women with eclampsia.


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