b. Treatment. If treated early, it is possible to prevent preeclampsia from
progressing rapidly to full-blown eclampsia and intractable seizures before, during, and
(1) Record a blood pressure and the presence or absence of edema in
every pregnant woman you examine. Do this regardless of the patient's chief complaint.
Be suspicious of any blood pressure above 130/80.
Give supportive care and direct the patient to an obstetrician.
TRAUMA DURING PREGNANCY
a. Initial Procedure. Remember that trauma to a pregnant female involves not
only the woman but her baby. There are two patients.
Ensure that the patient's airway is adequate.
Assist in breathing, as needed. Administer 100 percent oxygen, if
Treat life-threatening injuries.
(5) If possible, transport the patient in a lateral recumbent position (patient
on the left side with the right thigh and knee drawn up) rather than a supine position
(patient lying on her back).
b. General Information.
(1) Transport to hospital. Potential damage to the fetus cannot be
adequately assessed in the field. Even if the mother has sustained only minor injuries,
there may have been major trauma to the baby. This is especially true in accidents
involving significant deceleration forces. Every pregnant woman who has been in an
accident must, therefore, be evaluated in the hospital even if her injuries are trivial.
(2) Two patients. If the woman has been critically or hopelessly injured,
remember that there are two patients. It may not be possible to save both lives. At
times, the baby can be saved even when the mother cannot. For this reason, you must
give an all out effort toward resuscitation of the mother even if saving her life seems