At 0600 Jennie is brought to the Labor and Delivery triage area by her sister. The client complains of a pounding headache for the last 12 hours unrelieved by acetaminophen (Tylenol), swollen hands and face for 2 days, and epigastric pain described as bad heartburn. Her sister tells the nurse, "I felt like that when I had toxemia during my pregnancy."
Admission assessment by the nurse reveals: today's weight 182 pounds, T 99.1° F, P 76, R 22, BP 138/88, 4+ pitting edema, and 3+ protein in the urine. Heart rate is regular, and lung sounds are clear. Deep tendon reflexes (DTRs) are 3+ biceps and triceps and 4+ patellar with 1 beat of ankle clonus. The nurse applies the external fetal monitor, which shows a baseline fetal heart rate of 130, absent variability, positive for accelerations, no decelerations, and no contractions. The nurse also performs a vaginal examination and finds that the cervix is 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced, with the fetal head at a -2 station.
In reviewing Jennie's history, the nurse is correct in concluding that Jennie is in jeopardy of developing a hypertensive disorder due to which risk factors?
To accurately assess this client's condition, what information from the prenatal record is most important for the nurse to obtain?
Pathophysiology of Preeclampsia
There is no definitive cause of preeclampsia, but the pathophysiology is distinct. The main pathogenic factor is poor perfusion as a result of arteriolar vasospasm. Function in organs such as the placenta, liver, brain, and kidneys can be depressed as much as 40 to 60%. As fluid shifts out of the intravascular compartment, a decrease in plasma volume and subsequent increase in hematocrit is seen. The edema of preeclampsia is generalized. Virtually all organ systems are affected by this disease, and the mother and fetus suffer increasing risk as the disease progresses.
Preeclampsia develops after 20 weeks gestation in a previously