Preeclampsia is a condition that many women experience during pregnancy. It is characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine, and is often accompanied by other symptoms like swelling of the hands, feet and face, headaches, sudden weight gain, vision changes, or heartburn. If left untreated, preeclampsia can develop into a more severe phase of the condition called eclampsia where the mother has seizures. Eclampsia can cause coma and even death for the mother and baby.
Throughout pregnancy, it is the physician’s duty to conduct exams and tests to determine if preeclampsia exists. The physician must also adhere to standards of care related to follow-up of abnormal tests and treatment. When an obstetrician fails to diagnose, follow-up and treat this serious complication in a timely manner, it puts the expectant mother and baby at risk and is considered medical negligence.
Additionally, in cases of severe preeclampsia, it is often necessary for labor to be induced or for a C-section to be performed prior to full-term, usually at or after 34 weeks, depending on the preeclampsia’s severity. When an obstetrician fails to take these proactive steps, the mother and baby are put at great risk for:
- Placental abruption, where the placenta separates from the inner wall of the uterus (causing heavy bleeding and necessitating an emergency C-section). This places the baby at risk of death or permanent physical and mental disabilities from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).
- HELPP Syndrome – a serious maternal blood and liver problem.Lack of adequate blood flow to the placenta. This reduces oxygen and nutrient flow to the baby, which can result in slow growth, low birth weight, preterm birth and breathing difficulties for the baby. This can result in cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, seizures, hearing and vision problems.
What to Do if You Had Mishandled Preeclampsia
The disabilities a child suffers as a result of a medical practitioner’s mishandling of preeclampsia may be severe and permanent. If your child has cerebral palsy or other permanent disability and you suspect it was due to misdiagnosis or mistreatment of your preeclampsia, you should seek an attorney’s help immediately. A qualified birth injury lawyer will evaluate your child’s case, determine if negligence occurred, and help you obtain the compensation your child needs.
The attorneys at Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers specialize in birth injury cases and are among the best in the nation. Call us at (888) 812-6009 for a free consultation. You will never be charged any fees until we win your case.