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HELLP Syndrome

General Information

HELLP stands for Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes, Low Platelets. Hemolysis is a normally occurring process at the end of the life span of a red blood cell. In HELLP Syndrome however, this process occurs very rapidly thereby reducing the number of red blood cells in circulation and causing anaemia, and may lead to shivering, jaundice, abdominal pain and an enlarged spleen. Elevated Liver enzymes usually lead to jaundice and pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, liver function is impaired by HELLP. Platelets are used by the body to stop bleeding, a low platelet count can lead to bleeding problems. The platelet count may be one of the most reliable indicators of HELLP Syndrome.

HELLP is generally considered to be a variant of pre-eclampsia, although sometimes symptoms of pre-eclampsia are very mild.

Internet Links

Medline Plus Health Information - HELLP Syndrome
HELLP Syndrome:recognition and perinatal management

Support Groups

Australian Action on Pre-eclampsia (AAPEC) Inc.
Information and Support for women and families who have suffered from this condition.
PO Box 29
Carlton Sth Vic 3053
(03) 9330 0441

Personal Stories

Erin's Story


This information is intended as general background information only. Please check with your doctor or other health care provider for further and more specific information on how any condition affects you and/or your baby's health and before acting on any information presented here.

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