Your second role is providing supportive treatment to avoid worse complications before the woman reaches the health facility. When your clinical diagnosis is as defined in Table 19.2 earlier:
- severe pre-eclampsia
- superimposed severe pre-eclampsia
you should be able to prevent the occurrence of eclampsia by taking the supportive actions in Box 19.2 below.
Box 19.2 Actions to prevent superimposed and severe pre-eclampsia progressing to eclampsia
- Make the referral to the higher health facility as soon as possible.
- Communicate with the receiving hospital or health centre to alert the medical team that a pregnant woman with severe pre-eclampsia is coming for urgent treatment.
- Reassure the woman and her family that when she arrives at the health facility, the doctor will give her drugs to reduce her high blood pressure (anti-hypertensive drugs) and to prevent her from developing convulsions (anti-convulsant drugs).
- While transport is being arranged, insert an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in the woman's hand or arm, as you will learn to do in Study Session 22 of this Module and in your practical training sessions. Connect the IV line to a bag containing at least 1 litre of IV fluid: either Normal Saline (N/S) or Ringer Lactate (R/L). Never give dextrose in water IV fluid (D/W).