If you’re pregnant or have had a baby, you’ve likely heard of preeclampsia, a harmful and sometimes deadly condition affecting pregnant women. In the past, it’s been thought that preeclampsia is caused by the placenta, but a new editorial in the journal Anaesthesia says that perhaps this condition is caused by the fetus. Co-author of the editorial, associate professor Alicia Dennis, a consultant anaesthetist and director of anaesthesia research at The Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, says a lack of healthy oxygen to the developing fetus may be the root cause of preeclampsia. On that note, Dennis has even suggested changing the name of preeclampsia to “hypertension caused by pregnancy” so that more women will better understand the condition and perhaps get the correct information needed to manage it.  The editorial also suggests that a normal pregnancy can proceed without incident when a mom-to-be can maintain a continued flow of oxygen to meet the needs of the fetus, but when oxygen needs aren’t meant, the fetus suffers and more problems occur. Perhaps a preeclampsia name change will help women to better understand their health care needs during pregnancy – what do you think?

+ Hypertension and haemodynamics in pregnant women – is a unified theory for pre-eclampsia possible?

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