CPD Articles

An approach to hypertensive disorders in pregnancy for the primary care physician

Mergan Naidoo, Robert C. Pattinson
South African Family Practice | Vol 62, No 1 : Part 1| a5095 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v62i1.5095 | © 2020 Mergan Naidoo, Robert C. Pattinson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 January 2020 | Published: 17 February 2020

About the author(s)

Mergan Naidoo, Department of Family Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Robert C. Pattinson, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Hypertensive disorders in pregnancy (HDP) are a leading obstetric cause for maternal morbidity and mortality nationally as well as globally. The Saving Mothers is a report published every three years by the National Committee for Confidential Enquiry, which reports the trends in maternal deaths in South Africa. The last three Saving Mothers reports identified many gaps in the management of HDP and interventions to address these gaps were recommended. The recently published national guidelines on the management of HDP have highlighted approaches for the diagnosis, assessment and management of HDP. This article synthesises the national guidelines and provides approaches for the primary care physician working at the primary healthcare or the district hospital level. The algorithms provide easy clinical pathways once the correct assessment has been made.


hypertensive disorders in pregnancy; primary care; management


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