We know that being pregnant and bringing a child into the world is supposed to be a wonderful time for you. Unfortunately, sometimes there are complications.

One of the most serious complications that can put a mother and the child at risk is a condition known as pre-eclampsia. This condition, if left untreated, can cause serious and even fatal consequences for mother and baby.

That is why it is so important for doctors and nurses to properly understand and monitor for pre-eclampsia. If you need a pre-eclampsia attorney, turn to The Weitz Firm today. We will work with you if someone else’s negligence has caused you harm.

What Is Pre-eclampsia?

Our team would like to provide more information on preeclampsia to you as a frame of reference. Preeclampsia is defined as a pregnancy condition that is characterized by high blood pressure and emits signs of damage to another organ system like the liver and kidneys. This condition typically begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women. It is more prevalent because up until the 20-week mark, women generally have normal blood pressure. Left untreated, it can lead to some serious and even deadly complications for both mother and baby. For anyone who has been diagnosed with preeclampsia, the best treatment is to deliver your baby. Take note that sometimes even after the delivery of your baby, it can still take a while for you to get better.

In certain unfortunate situations, if a mother is diagnosed with preeclampsia at the onset of pregnancy, too early to deliver the baby, the mother and doctor face some challenging tasks. The baby needs more time in the mother’s womb to develop and mature but as a mother, you need to avoid putting yourself and your baby in harm’s way.

In rare cases, preeclampsia will develop after childbirth and this is known as postpartum preeclampsia.

Causes Of Pre-eclampsia

The exact cause of preeclampsia is determined by several factors. Medical experts suggest that it develops in the placenta. This is the organ in which the fetus is nourished during pregnancy. At the beginning stages of pregnancy, new blood vessels evolved in order to efficiently send blood to the placenta. Expecting mothers with preeclampsia don’t retain these new blood vessels nor do they develop or function properly. Most of the time the vessels are more narrow than normal blood vessels and tend to react differently to hormones. As a consequence, the amount of blood is limited in its ability to flow through the vessels.

Common causes of this abnormal development center around the notion of insufficient blood flow to the uterus, damage to the blood vessels, a problem with the immune system and certain genes.

Why Is It Dangerous

While pre-eclampsia happens primarily in first pregnancies, women who have had it previously are seven times as likely to develop the condition in later pregnancy.

If left untreated, pre-eclampsia can lead to the death of the mother or baby. That is why doctors need to be on the constant lookout for signs and symptoms, especially around the 20th week of pregnancy.

These include:

  • Severe headaches
  • Changes in vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Decreased urine output
  • Liver or kidney impairment
  • Excess protein in the urine
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Fluid in lungs

If a doctor or nurse notices these symptoms and fails to treat them appropriately, the consequences can be devastating. In the US, diagnostic errors accounted for the largest fraction of medical malpractice claims. By not properly diagnosing pre-eclampsia, a doctor is putting two lives at risk. Not treating the condition can lead to fetal growth restriction, premature birth, placental abruption, and possibly even death.

A major cause that can lead doctors to misdiagnose this condition is not taking a proper patient medical history, including a patient’s family medical history.

There are pre-existing conditions that increase a woman’s risk of developing pre-eclampsia. These include:

  • Family history of pre-eclampsia (20 to 40 percent of women who develop the condition had mothers who also had it)
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • African American ethnicity
  • Age (women over 40 are at higher risk)

Up to 25 percent of all pregnancies in the US feature women with pre-eclampsia symptoms.

If properly diagnosed and treated women usually give birth and see their medical condition return to normal. Pre-eclampsia is treatable, which is a wonderful thing.

Complications Of Pre-eclampsia

The severity of your preeclampsia can rely heavily on how early it occurs in pregnancy, so you take every measure possible to prevent little to no risks for you and your baby. Sometimes this condition requires induced labor and delivery. Complications of preeclampsia are listed below:

  • Fetal growth restriction
  • Preterm birth
  • Placental abruption
  • HELLP syndrome
  • Eclampsia
  • Other organ damage
  • Cardiovascular disease

If you are concerned about preeclampsia affecting you or a loved one it is never too late to offer low-dose aspirin and calcium supplements. Doctors may recommend low-dose aspirin beginning after the 12-week mark of pregnancy. You also must meet certain risk factors which include a history of preeclampsia, multiple pregnancies, chronic blood pressure, and either kidney or autoimmune disease. Calcium supplements can be taken if the mother does not get enough calcium in her diet. Women in the United States are unlikely, however, to have a calcium deficiency to meet the level at which calcium supplements would benefit them. Nevermore, calcium supplements are still a preventative option.

What You Can Do

We are so sorry that you or a loved one has had to go through the experience of pre-eclampsia. We know how scary this can be for everyone involved. While the condition may not be preventable, it can be treated if properly diagnosed.

If you believe that medical professionals failed to properly treat your pre-eclampsia, contact The Weitz Firm today. We will work with you to investigate your case and work to recover the compensation you deserve for what you have been through. When you need a pre-eclampsia attorney in Norristown, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 267-587-6240. We want to make sure you are taken care of during this tough time.

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