California Preeclampsia Lawyers
Our firm of California Preeclampsia Lawyers has successfully handled a number of cases for injuries caused by hypertensive disorders during pregnancy, including preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia is a serious life-threatening complication, which affects some pregnant women and their babies. Preeclampsia is sometimes called “toxemia” in older medical literature. Undiagnosed or improperly treated preeclampsia is a serious health risk that could lead to harmful injury or death of mother and baby.
WHAT IS PREECLAMPSIA?
Preeclampsia is a condition that usually starts after the 20th week of pregnancy, the third trimester of a pregnancy. It can also occur in the post partum period. Preeclampsia can affect all of the organ systems in a woman’s body. A diagnosis of preeclampsia was traditionally made on a finding of three symptoms during a pregnancy: (1) High Blood Pressure; (2) Swelling, particularly at the hands and feet; and (3) Protein in the Urine. Modern maternal-fetal medicine has recognized that high blood pressure is perhaps the central and most concerning symptom. A severe high blood pressure reading will lead to a preeclampsia diagnosis, even when the mother has no measurable protein in her urine or swelling.
Other features sometimes associated with preeclampsia include: headaches, pain over the upper abdomen or shoulder, changes in vision, insufficient urine production, water retention, weight gain and difficulty breathing.
PREECLAMPSIA RISK FACTORS
The risk of developing preeclampsia is increased in women who are 40 years of age or older; are pregnant for the first time; are obese; have a history of chronic high blood pressure or kidney disease; have had preeclampsia previously or a family history of preeclampsia; have diabetes; or are carrying multiples.
Preeclampsia is generally thought to be curable only by delivery of the baby (and even then, some problems may persist). For that reason, management of preeclampsia may take place in a hospital or if the preeclampsia is less severe, at home with close and frequent monitoring by a health care provider. The mother may be asked to record her baby’s kicks and to measure her blood pressure at home. Preeclampsia is usually also managed through certain medications to help reduce blood pressure and to prevent seizures. If the mother or baby’s condition should worse, prompt delivery will be required. After the child is delivered, women who had preeclampsia will be closely monitored in the hospital because they will be at increased risk for having seizures.
INJURIES CAUSE BY FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE OR TREAT PREECLAMPSIA
Preeclampsia affects the arteries carrying blood to the placenta. If the placenta is damaged by not receiving enough blood, the baby may not receive enough oxygen and nutrients, which can cause slow growth, low birth weight or premature birth. Infants born very early can have increased risk for a number of complications including severe brain injury or other complications that could require a lifetime of medical care.
Preclampsia also increases the risk of placental abruption. Placental abruption occurs where the placenta detaches from the womb before delivery, which is a life-threatening condition for both mother and baby.
When preeclampsia isn’t controlled, it can lead to eclampsia. Eclampsia, also called eclamptic seizures, is a convulsion or series of convulsions in the mother. Eclamptic seizures can cause serious harm and even death to mother and/or baby.
WHAT CAN I DO?
If you believe that you or your loved one have been injured because of a failure to diagnose or treat preeclampsia, you should call and speak to our team of attorneys at Mulligan, Banham & Findley, who are all highly experienced in advising potential clients on preeclampsia cases. There is no cost to call and have your case evaluated by our specialized team of legal and medical professionals.
Please note that this page is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you have an urgent medical issue and suspect preeclampsia may play a role, please call your doctor or 911 immediately.