Posts Tagged ‘ pre-eclampsia ’

Death At Downton Abbey: Preeclampsia Then And Now

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Downton Abbey preeclampsia then and nowPart of the reason why I love Downton Abbey is that it’s so real. No, of course there was no real-life Lady Mary, and the Dowager Countess never really asked, “What is a weekend?!” But the show is so well researched that I always feel I’m learning a bit of history while I’m getting my juicy TV fix. (Spoiler Alert! I will be divulging a major plot point, though won’t say which charatcer it affects.) This week’s episode was no exception, bringing maternal health into the spotlight when one of the characters died of eclampsia, a very serious complication of pregnancy that results from untreated preeclampsia.

Curious about what treatments were available for women suffering from preeclampsia in the times of Downton Abbey, I did a quick look into what maternal health practices were like back then. Turns out, preeclampsia wasn’t even a named disorder until 1920–the year this season is set in. Now I totally get why the attending doctor’s diagnosis of eclampsia was challenged on this week’s episode. Before 1920, eclampsia deaths were chalked up to “convulsions” and left at that, and even in 1920, since the identification of the disorder was so new, only the top doctors (like the ones the Crawleys have) were fully aware of it.

Luckily for moms-to-be everywhere, we’ve come a long way medically since the times of Downton Abbey. Although preeclampsia still affects five to eight percent of pregnancies according to the Preeclampsia Foundation–and yes, it still can be fatal–doctors know to screen pregnant women’s blood pressure and urine carefully at every office visit for signs of the disorder. Today, mild preeclampsia diagnosed pre-term can sometimes be held at bay through hospitalized bed rest, although many cases necessitate induced delivery to save the mother’s life.

Do you watch Downton Abbey? Were you as shocked by the eclampsia death as I was?

Image via PBS. 

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Kids’ Risk of Whopping Cough Rises After Final Shot
Children’s risk of contracting whooping cough increases over the years following their final scheduled vaccination, a new study says. (via NBC)

Being Bullied Can Cause Trauma Symptoms
Problems caused by bullying do not necessarily cease when the abuse stops. Recent research shows that victims may need long-term support. (via ScienceDaily)

One Child Mothers With Pre-Eclampsia at Higher Risk of Heart Problems
Women who develop pre-eclampsia during their first pregnancy (known as preterm pre-eclampsia) — and who don’t go on to have any more children — are at greater risk of dying from heart disease in later life than women who have subsequent children. (via ScienceDaily)

Researchers Study Cry Acoustics to Determine Risk for Autism
Understanding the importance of early diagnosis, researchers have been studying the cry acoustics of 6-month-old infants. (via ScienceDaily)

Legislation Proposed To Help Pregnant Women Working In NYC
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would require employers to provide what the bill calls “reasonable accommodations” to pregnant employees whose health care providers say they are necessary, unless they would be an undue hardship on the employer. (via CBS New York)

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