Nurses are increasingly encountering pregnant/postpartum women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, of which preeclampsia is one of the most common. The Joint Commission published a Sentinel Event Alert in 2010 on prevention of maternal death. This report notes that one of the 5 leading causes of pregnancy-related mortality between 1991 and 1997 was “hypertensive disorder.” Preeclampsia presents significant risk to the health of the mother and the fetus. Clearly, nurses must understand the pathophysiology, assessment, management, recurrence risk, and long-term implications of preeclampsia to participate fully in a management plan that promotes safe patient care.
The Junior League Fetal Center at Vanderbilt, (Ms. Townsend); and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN (Ms. Drummond).
Disclosure: The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.
Corresponding Author: Nancy S. Townsend, RN MSN, The Junior League Fetal Center at Vanderbilt, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, 2200 Children's Way, Doctor's Office Tower, 6th Floor, Nashville, TN 37232 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Submitted for publication: March 1, 2011 Accepted for publication: May 10, 2011