A patient with a history of hypertension in pregnancy calls the hospital complaining of a severe headache and blurred vision. How should the nurse respond?
• Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), also called preeclampsia, must be monitored closely. Symptoms of worsening PIH include sudden weight gain, swelling or edema, severe headache, reports of seeing spots, blood in the urine, dizziness, or nausea and vomiting.
• When preeclampsia worsens during pregnancy, the baby may need to be delivered or magnesium may need to be given intravenously to prevent seizures.
• The patient needs to call 911 to be evaluated and, if necessary, treated immediately to reduce her blood pressure and prevent complications.
• Pregnancy-induced hypertension can last for several weeks after delivery, and mothers may return home with by-mouth medications to control blood pressure.