Cleveland Birth Injury Lawyers Fight for Injured Mothers
Our attorneys seek recovery for mothers who suffered serious injury or death due to HELLP syndrome
HELLP syndrome is an extremely dangerous complication that may arise during pregnancy. It is named for several of its symptoms: Hemolysis, or the breakdown of red blood cells; Elevated Liver enzymes; and Low Platelet count. HELLP syndrome most often occurs in pregnant women who have been diagnosed with preeclampsia. If left undiagnosed or untreated, HELLP syndrome can be deadly. At The Eisen Law Firm, our Cleveland birth injury lawyers know how to pinpoint if and when a medical professional failed to properly treat a pregnant woman for HELLP syndrome and to hold that professional legally accountable.
What are the symptoms of HELLP syndrome?
Symptoms of HELLP syndrome include:
- Vision changes
- Pain when taking deep breaths, or shoulder pain
- Chest or abdominal tenderness with pain in the upper right side
- Nausea, indigestion, or vomiting with pain after eating
- High blood pressure
- Protein in urine
Doctors are encouraged to order blood tests for pregnant women who experience any of the above symptoms in the third trimester, which is when HELLP syndrome most often develops.
Many pregnant women are killed by HELLP syndrome when their livers rupture or when they have a stroke.
HELLP syndrome treatment
HELLP syndrome often requires the delivery of the baby. However, if a woman has not yet reached the 34th week of pregnancy, doctors are advised to check the baby’s lung function to determine if delivery would be a viable option. If delivery is not an option, doctors may order:
- Bed rest
- Fetal monitoring
- Blood pressure medication
- Magnesium sulfate, which may prevent seizures
- Blood transfusions (including plasma, platelets, or red blood cells)
- Corticosteroids, to help the baby’s lungs develop
- Admission to the hospital for monitoring
Previously, physicians recommended C-sections to deliver babies if the mother suffered from HELLP syndrome. However, women who have reached the 34th week of pregnancy may instead be induced for an expected vaginal delivery.
Injuries caused by HELLP syndrome
HELLP syndrome may cause serious injury to both the mother and the unborn child. Possible complications include:
- Infant and maternal lung failure
- Acute renal failure
- Ruptured liver
- Intrauterine growth restriction
- Placental abruption
- Pulmonary edema
- Hemorrhaging due to blood clotting issues
HELLP syndrome has a maternal mortality rate of roughly 1.1 percent and the infant morbidity and mortality rate ranges from 10 to 60 percent.
Risk factors for HELLP syndrome
HELLP syndrome is commonly misdiagnosed. It is often mistaken for gallbladder disease, bleeding disorders, or hepatitis. It is estimated that it affects 0.2 to 0.6 percent of all pregnancies. Roughly 4 to 12 percent of women with preeclampsia will develop HELLP syndrome. The following women are also at increased risk of developing HELLP syndrome:
- Having a history of HELLP syndrome. If a woman had HELLP syndrome in a previous pregnancy, there is a 19-27% chance she will develop it in subsequent pregnancies.
- Over 25 years of age
- Having had two or more previous pregnancies
Women with these risk factors should be closely monitored during their pregnancies.
Contact our skilled Cleveland birth injury lawyers today if you were affected by HELLP syndrome
If you or a loved one suffered injury or death due to improperly diagnosed or treated HELLP syndrome, contact The Eisen Law Firm as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. We have been in practice since 1976 and exclusively handle medical malpractice and negligence cases. To schedule your free consultation with our firm, call us at 216-687-0900 or contact us online.