Compassionate Cleveland Injury Attorneys Help Victims of Undiagnosed Preeclampsia and Eclampsia
Understanding preeclampsia and when expecting mothers are most at risk
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, often the kidneys. Preeclampsia usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a woman whose blood pressure had been normal. Even a slight rise in blood pressure may be a sign of preeclampsia. That is one of the reasons that a woman’s blood pressure is checked at every prenatal visit to her obstetrician’s office. The personal injury attorneys at The Eisen Law Firm go through all of our clients prenatal visit records in great detail whenever preeclampsia causes complications during a pregnancy. The best way to improve healthcare in Cleveland and throughout Ohio is to ensure that the professionals we entrust are held accountable when they breach our trust.
Complications that often arise from untreated preeclampsia
Left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to serious — even fatal — complications for both the mother and her baby. Preeclampsia can be thought of as an abnormal maternal response to the presence of a baby in her uterus. The only cure is delivery of the baby. In cases where preeclampsia develops late in the pregnancy, delivery can be accomplished safely for mom and baby. But if it develops early in pregnancy, the proper course can be difficult to determine. The baby may need more time to mature, but the mother may need to deliver the baby to save her life.
Aside from high blood pressure, signs and symptoms of preeclampsia may include:
- Excess protein in your urine (proteinuria)
- Severe headaches
- Changes in vision, including temporary loss of vision or blurred vision
- Upper abdominal pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Decreased urine output
- Decreased levels of platelets in your blood (thrombocytopenia)
- Impaired liver function
- Shortness of breath due to fluid build- up in the lungs
How do medical professionals fail to diagnose preeclampsia and eclampsia?
When a patient with preeclampsia has a seizure, the condition is called “eclampsia.” Such seizures can usually be prevented by medication if it is given timely. Unfortunately, sometimes doctors fail to timely diagnose preeclampsia or eclampsia. Because the condition is easy to diagnose, such failures are often due to some type of miscommunication: a nurse charts increased blood pressures but doesn’t tell the doctor; lab studies show protein in the urine but the results don’t make it to the patient’s medical record; or perhaps, one doctor knows about protein in the urine and a different doctor knows about high blood pressure. In any event, when the diagnosis is missed or proper treatment is delayed, severe complications can result, including maternal brain injury and memory loss, fetal brain damage, and maternal or fetal death.
Contact one of our Cleveland prenatal medical malpractice lawyers today if undiagnosed or improperly treated preeclampsia caused complications during your pregnancy
At The Eisen Law Firm, we successfully represent families affected by preeclampsia and eclampsia, including women with permanent “encephalopathy” (or brain injury) from eclamptic seizures and families of women who have died from inadequately treated preeclampsia. We proudly serve clients in Cleveland, Lorain, Columbus, Toledo, Akron and all of Northeast Ohio. Call us today at 216-687-0900 to speak with one of our skilled lawyers or to schedule a free consultation.