The danger of Hypertension in Pregnancy – Dr. Derrick Darko.
Hypertension in Pregnancy: According to Dr. Derrick Darko, a Medical Officer, uncontrolled hypertension during pregnancy increases the risk that the baby may have intrauterine growth restriction and may cause seizures, coma, or preterm birth.
Other effects include placenta separation, prenatal haemorrhage, and an increased likelihood of continuing hypertension after delivery.
At the International Maritime Hospital (IMaH), Dr. Darko, a medical officer, observed that around 50% of maternal fatalities that occurred during birth were attributable to hypertension.
Dr. Darko said during a weekly health discussion programme called “Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility” that while the exact causes of hypertension were still unknown, there were some contributing factors such as a sedentary lifestyle, a high intake of salt and fatty foods, and a hereditary condition.
Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility is a project of the Tema Regional Office of the Ghana News Agency with the goal of fostering health-related communication and provide a venue for the transmission of health information in order to affect individual health decisions through increased health literacy.
The Office established the public health advocacy platform “Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility” to research the elements of the four health communication strategies of informing, teaching, persuading, and advocating.
Types of Hypertension
He described the four types of hypertensive illnesses that can occur during pregnancy: chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia-eclampsia, and chronic hypertension with concurrent preeclampsia.
Dr. Darko advised noting elevated blood pressure readings but also keeping a look out for other symptoms, such as protein in the urine, which may be detected during other prenatal testing.
Others are vision blurriness, light flashes on the face, persistent nausea and vomiting, and feeling pain beneath the breast or on the right side of the abdomen.
A sudden increase in weight with shiny hands and feet, and severe frontal headaches that could not be relieved with the use of painkillers.
He clarified that there are two types of hypertension in pregnancy: those who had the condition before becoming pregnant and those who acquired it while pregnant.
He emphasised that people who have been diagnosed should seek prenatal care from their doctors before becoming pregnant so that their medications and dietary requirements may be examined to prevent issues.
He urged women to begin antenatal care as soon as they became aware that they were expecting so that their blood pressure could be taken, noted, and monitored to aid in the early detection of any symptoms of hypertension and its associated complications and to help save both the mother and the baby’s lives.