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HELLP Syndrome

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by Shannon DW


HELLP syndrome is a rare but serious condition. It is a form of severe preeclampsia that occurs during pregnancy or just after delivery. HELLP stands for:
  • H emolysis
  • E levated
  • L iver enzymes
  • L ow
  • P latelet count
HELLP involves three types of problems:
  • Hemolysis is the destruction of red blood cells. This can lead to anemia .
  • High levels of liver enzymes. Liver enzymes are chemicals in the blood that show how well the liver is working. High levels of enzymes mean the liver has been damaged.
  • Low platelet count. Platelets are components that help stop bleeding. A low level of platelets can lead to problems with bleeding.
Red Blood Cells
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The Liver
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The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

American Pregnancy Association




The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada



Diagnosis and Management of Preeclampsia and Eclampsia, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Practice Bulletin No 33, January 2002. Reaffirmed 2012.

HELLP syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated May 4, 2011. Accessed June 10, 2013.

Padden MO. HELLP syndrome: Recognition and perinatal managment. Am Fam Physician . 1999;60(3):829-839.


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