HORACIO SORMANI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HORACIO SORMANI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Monitoring blood pressure during labour. A doctor uses a sphygmomanometer to measure a woman's blood pressure during labour. Blood pressure rises during pregnancy and falls after the birth. Unusually high blood pressure may be sign of pre-eclampsia, which affects about 7% of pregnancies. Untreated pre-eclampsia can lead to eclampsia, a condition characterised by violent convulsions followed by coma and, in some cases, death. Mild pre-eclampsia is treated by anti-hypertensive drugs. More severe cases may require induction of labour or Caesarean section. Photographed at the Academic Medical Centre at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
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