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Does PE cause baby/ies death

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Does PE cause baby/ies death

Postby stacyc » Fri Jan 16, 2004 08:17 am

I had severe PE and HELLP last yr with my twin girls.They almost lost all 3 of us. (24weekers) (1.8lbs and 15ozs)After 4mths in the NICU they came home but i have read on here about alot of women losing their babies at 24/26/28 and even 34 wks to PE and or HELLP. So what i'm wanting to know is. Was the reason they passed because of the PE and or HELLP or was it because they we're born so early and their lungs we're too immature?

I also ask because a few day's before i was admitted for the final time. I remember telling my husband that i didn't feel Elizabeth moving as much and she was the smaller one. Does PE cause them NOT to move as much and cause ELBW when PE and HELLP get severe?

Thank you so much for you help. Stacy

Olivia & Elizabeth
My little miracles
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Re : Does PE cause baby/ies death

Postby ileana » Fri Jan 16, 2004 08:39 am


My understanding is that the preeclampsia is a disease of the placenta. It does not affect the baby directly. However, if the placenta is severely diseased, the baby can't get enough nutrients and oxygen and will either grow very slowly, get acidosis, etc.
My baby had IUGR because of the severely diseased placenta. He was otherwise healthy, just looked like a 21-22w when he actually was 24w.

However, women with babies that have genetic or other health problems are at higher risk of preeclampsia, I imagine that's another type of preeclampsia.

So I imagine it's different from case to case.

Ileana 33
Angel stillborn 24w p-e 2/17/03
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Re : Does PE cause baby/ies death

Postby akemt » Fri Jan 16, 2004 10:36 am

I would have to agree with Ileana about varies with each case. As you can see in her signature, she knows about this far too well.

Anyone know the stats on how many PE cases have Oligo/IUGR problems? That'd be interesting to know. Some deaths result from that, others from complications of preematurity, others still, I'd imagine, a mix.

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Emma Margaret (03/02/03) 37 weeks from PIH & oligo
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Re : Does PE cause baby/ies death

Postby laura » Fri Jan 16, 2004 11:06 am

Hi Stacy- I think Ileana and Catherine are right when it comes to "pure" preeclampsia, the main problems for the baby would be prematurity and restricted growth. The cause of this restricted growth is often what they call hypoxia- a restriction of oxygen as the placenta performs more and more poorly.

I know with my second baby, by the time she was born, her movements had pretty much slowed to stopping, and it was reflected in her non-stress tests, and I could see it in her ultrasounds- but you probably know what I mean, with your Elizabeth!

I did read something that sometimes HELLP babies are born and then they develop what looks like HELLP themselves- "edema, low platelet counts, rising liver enzymes and kidney failure" and they don't make it. I read that on the HELLP society homepage, and that's what happened to the baby of the founders (you may recognize her name, Taylor Hope, one of the babies this site is dedicated to.)


(editing note- I can't believe I misspelled preeclampsia?![:0])
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Allicia 5-13-98 (35 weeks-pre-e)
Camille 4-17-03 (36 weeks- htn and oligo)
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Re : Does PE cause baby/ies death

Postby angelkat » Fri Jan 16, 2004 12:01 am

Katlyne was born at 25 weeks 1 day but due to PE her GA was 22wks 1 day. After 3 1.2 months she passed away due to premature lungs (End Stage BPD- which is caused by the vent). The ultrasound I had 2 weeks prior of PE setting in Katlyne weigh 600 grams when born she was 527 grams. Just goes to show you the damage that PE can cause to the fetus.


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Re : Does PE cause baby/ies death

Postby kimpaulus00 » Fri Jan 16, 2004 12:29 am

I guess that one could say that in my case, pre-eclampsia and HELLP were the ultimate cause of Allison's death. However, I believe that her death certificate lists extreme prematurity as the cause of death. So it seems there is the "technical" reason listed on the death certificate, but that PE or HELLP seems to be the "ultimate" reason, or in lawyer-speak, the "but for" reason.
I developed pre-eclampsia at 22 weeks and by 23 weeks, 2 days I had developed HELLP and Allison had to be delivered otherwise my organs would start failing. The PE had caused severe IUGR and her gestation age was probably closer to 21-22 weeks than over 23 weeks. Since she was delivered so early and at such a small size, there really was no hope. But for the PE and HELLP, Allison would not have been delivered so early and but for the PE Allison may not have experienced the IUGR.
I do not know if that helps any, or if it just muddles everything.

Kim -- mother to Allison Jean, our beautiful angel who showed a spirit and strength that belied her small size
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Re : Does PE cause baby/ies death

Postby amandab » Fri Jan 16, 2004 02:34 pm

Aidan's death certificate ties his cause of death back to PE. I can't remember all the medical terms... The primary cause of death was basically brain damage due to loss of oxygen before delivery. The certificate lists the cause of the oxygen loss as placental abruption. Then it lists the cause of the abruption as preeclampsia.

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Re : Does PE cause baby/ies death

Postby sjs40 » Sat Jan 17, 2004 09:19 am

Ellie's death certificate shows NEC and kidney failure as cause of death with prematurity and Down's syndrome as extra factors.

Ellie was born at 27wks but was IUGR, the size of a small 24wk baby. She was 580g (1lb 4oz). Ellie didnt have lung problems at all, she didnt have a ventilator, but her problems were all bowel related.

We just had our follow up appointment with Ellie's consultant this week, and he explained that when there are problems with the placenta, such as with pe, the baby's systems protect the brain 1st of all, then the heart and so order of their importance, and this is why very small premature babies appear to have big heads. In Ellie's case it seems that her tummy and bowels suffered as they were never working 100% properly and ultimately she died of a bowel disease.


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Re : Does PE cause baby/ies death

Postby hutced » Tue Jan 20, 2004 10:01 am

With DS our doctor said he had immature lungs for his GA due to lack of oxigen he received while my pressure was so high for so long, many 35 weekers or earlier, have no breathing problems.

I also think many deaths are due to placental abruptions.

Emily 3-6-02 41 1/2wks, 7lbs15oz
Evan 10-21-03 35wks, 5lbs6oz, PIH/PE (placental abruption)
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Re : Does PE cause baby/ies death

Postby twolfgram » Tue Jan 20, 2004 10:08 am

Originally posted by hutced

With DS our doctor said he had immature lungs for his GA due to lack of oxigen he received while my pressure was so high for so long, many 35 weekers or earlier, have no breathing problems.

I also think many deaths are due to placental abruptions.

Emily 3-6-02 41 1/2wks, 7lbs15oz
Evan 10-21-03 35wks, 5lbs6oz, PIH/PE (placental abruption)

I'm not sure I agree with the statement about many babies earlier than 35 weeks not having breathing problems. When my DS was born at 28 weeks, that was the one thing the drs worried about first. He was on a ventilator for three weeks. Once he came off that, then they worried about the bowels, his eyes, etc. I think a preemie who doesn't have breathing problems is the exception, depending on how early he was.

I lost my second son to placental abruption. I had no PE whatsoever, unless that's a manifestation of PE. I have a clotting disorder which contributed to the abruption, and my HELLP the first time.

Therese Mom to
Jonathan - born 10/4/95 at 28 weeks due to HELLP
Angel in Heaven - Erik 12/20/02 due to placental abruption
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