Of the many complications which may develop after eclamptic seizures, prolonged unconsciousness is one of the most difficult for obstetricians to manage as the pathophysiology of this condition remains largely unknown. Computed axial tomography (CT scan) was performed on 20 unconscious eclamptic patients, and autopsy was obtained on an additional two patients. Changes compatible with cerebral oedema were demonstrated in 75% of patients; cerebral haemorrhage occurred in 9%. A programme of intensive neurological management aimed at optimizing cerebral perfusion and controlling intracranial pressure is outlined. We have reduced the mortality rate for unconscious eclamptic patients from 50% to 17% in our institution.