Critical care nurses are called upon to assist with the care of critically ill obstetrics patients. Some of the most complex care is required for patients with pregnancy-induced hypertension or preeclampsia. This article provides an overview of the pathological changes and expected hemodynamic changes associated with pregnancy-induced hypertension. A previous article1 addressed the changes expected during a normal pregnancy and the changes associated with cardiovascular disease or hemorrhage. The clinical manifestations and medical and nursing management are summarized in a case study.

Interpreting the pathophysiological changes that occur with pregnancy-induced hypertension requires a review of the hemodynamic changes expected during pregnancy, particularly during the third trimester. In summary (Table 1), increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure of up to 10% of baseline are expected.2–,4 These increases in blood pressure reflect an increase in...

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