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Antiphospholipid syndrome and pregnancy

There is a dangerous syndrome called antiphospholipid syndrome, or Hughes’ Syndrome, which you may have suffered during pregnancy. Not recognizing this condition when it occurs could lead to serious harm coming to the mother or child, which is why it’s so important for the medical providers to understand and be aware of the risks of this condition developing.

Antiphospholipid syndrome, or APS, is nicknamed “sticky blood,” because it causes blood clots in the veins and arteries. It may be present if there are raised levels of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL).

It’s not clear why some women develop this condition, but if it’s identified, then emergency treatment is needed. Left unchecked, it may lead to the unexplained death of a fetus at or beyond 10 weeks and could lead to blood clots throughout the mother and child’s bodies. Pre-eclampsia often occurs at the same time, and there is a risk of a pulmonary embolism.

When should doctors be looking for this condition?

Symptoms of APS include:

  • Blood clots in the legs, also known as deep-vein thrombosis
  • Stroke
  • Repeated stillbirths or miscarriages
  • Transient ischemic attacks (which are similar to a stroke)
  • Rashes with a net-like, lacy pattern

This condition could also be present if a mother complains of seizures, dementia symptoms, migraine or chronic headaches. Nose bleeds and bleeding gums could also be a complication of the condition.

Are there treatments for antiphospholipid syndrome?

Identifying the condition is important because there are treatments. Blood-thinning medications can be used to resolve blood clots and to prevent them from forming again. It is possible to go on to have a successful pregnancy, but medical intervention may be necessary to prevent a stillbirth and other complications of the illness.

You deserve the appropriate care from educated professionals

Since APS can form before, during or after pregnancy, patients and their doctors need to be aware of it. If you presented with symptoms of the condition and suffered complications and injuries as a result, then you may be able to hold the medical provider responsible for failing to diagnose this rare, but serious medical condition during your pregnancy.