HELLP Syndrome

What is HELLP Syndrome?

HELLP syndrome is a condition that affect pregnant women, almost always during late pregnancy. HELLP stands for three conditions – hemolysis (H), elevated liver enzymes (EL) and low platelet count(LP).


Hemolysis refers to a condition in which red blood cells are destroyed too soon, causing low red blood cell count.

Elevated liver enzymes indicates that liver is not functioning properly and is not able to process toxins in body efficiently.

Platelats are responsible for clot formation. Low platelats count means it is difficult for blood to form clot.

How common is HELLP syndrome?

HELLP syndrome is a complication of preeclampsia and can occur in around 10 percent of preeclamptic or eclamptic pregnant women.

How serious is HELLP syndrome?

HELLP syndrome is very serious complication and can be life-threatening for both mother and baby. If this condition is not diagnosed and treated in quick time, there is a serious chance of suffering liver damage or stroke.

Women with HELLP syndrome are considered to be a higher risk of developing complications in future pregnancies.

Signs and symptoms of HELLP syndrome?

Signs and symptoms of HELLP syndrome are quite vague and vary in different women, so it is not easy to detect. Some common symptoms are :

  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Headache
  • Malaise or general feeling of not being well

Treatment of HELLP syndrome?

The only effective treatment of HELLP syndrome is the urgent delivery of baby. If the baby is not mature enough, treatment will be given to counter blood-clotting issues. You may also be given steroids to treat the condition and help in maturing baby’s lungs.

Leave a Reply