Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication causing severe health risks for both the mother and her unborn child. Usually, a physician will diagnose preeclampsia after the 20th week of pregnancy, if the mother develops dangerously highly blood pressure and protein is found in her urine. The physician should then carefully monitor the mother’s high blood pressure and related conditions, and plan for an early, if not immediate, delivery. If a doctor fails to diagnose preeclampsia in time, complications can include seizures, multiple organ failure, and the death of the expectant mother and/or the baby. Many babies who survive develop birth injuries, which may include permanent brain damage, seizure disorders, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, and more.
HOW MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE LEADS TO PREECLAMPSIA
Preeclampsia is usually diagnosed during routine prenatal appointments during blood pressure checks. If the expectant mother has two blood pressure readings at an abnormally high level (over 140/90) taken at least four hours apart, it can indicate a risk of preeclampsia. A competent obstetrician will then order blood, urine, or ultrasound tests to confirm a diagnosis. The doctor should also check the patient for common symptoms of preeclampsia such as complaints of headaches, blurred vision or abdominal pain, and evidence of swelling in the hands and face.
Other risk factors for preeclampsia include:
- Having medical conditions such as obesity, chronic high blood pressure, Type 1 or 2 diabetes, kidney disease, lupus, migraine headaches or a family history of preeclampsia
- Being a teenage mother or over 40 years old at the time of pregnancy
- First pregnancy
- Carrying multiple fetuses (e.g. twins)
- A family history of preeclampsia
The only treatment for preeclampsia is to deliver the fetus. If the obstetrician fails to recognize the risk factors, fails to identify signs and symptoms, and/or fails to treat them properly, it can result in major birth injuries, if not the death of the expectant mother and/or unborn child.
OUR PREECLAMPSIA LAWYERS AT THE MELLINO LAW FIRM CAN HELP
If you, your child or your loved one was harmed or died because a physician failed to correctly diagnose or treat preeclampsia, you may be entitled to compensation for your physician’s negligence. You may also be eligible to start a medical malpractice lawsuit or wrongful death claim. We have over 30 years of experience representing injured victims and have a solid record of holding those responsible accountable for their actions.