Going through a pregnancy is a special time in the life of a couple, full of hopes and anticipation. Concern over how pregnancy and labor will progress, the health of your child and your skills as a parent is natural, and we rely on our medical providers to guide us through the process and ensure a safe and happy delivery. Unfortunately, there are conditions that can occur during pregnancy that can go undetected as the result of medical mistakes and errors that could jeopardize the health and well-being of both you and your child. The month of May is Preeclampsia Awareness Month, and understanding what this condition is as well as the symptoms could help prevent dangerous complications both during and after delivery.
What Is Preeclampsia?
According to the Preeclampsia Foundation, preeclampsia is a progressive condition that can occur during pregnancy, resulting in elevated blood pressure, swelling, and proteinuria, which is the presence of protein in the urine. Roughly 300,000 pregnant women suffer from preeclampsia in the United States each year, and it is responsible for roughly 15 percent of premature births and close to 20 percent of all maternal deaths. Problems associated with the condition include increased risks for developing liver or kidney issues, as well as problems with blood clotting and an increase in the need for cesarean delivery. Women at increased risk for developing preeclampsia include the following:
- Women over the age of 35;
- Expectant mothers who have battled problems related to their weight or have a have a history of weight issues;
- Women carrying twins and multiple babies;
- Women with a past history of developing preeclampsia during pregnancy.
Symptoms of Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia usually develops in the second or third trimester. It is known as the ‘silent killer’, as symptoms often go unnoticed. According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), symptoms of preeclampsia include the following:
- Blurred vision;
- Sensitivity to bright light;
- Excessive fatigue;
- Shortness of breath;
- Abdominal pain;
- Frequent urination.
While any of the above symptoms can occur simply as a result of being pregnant, your doctor should provide careful blood pressure monitoring as well as urinalysis to help detect preeclampsia in its early stages. Preeclampsia can also be detected through blood work, and treatment usually involves bed rest, more frequent prenatal checkups, the elimination of salt from your diet while adding more protein. If your blood pressure levels cannot be reduced through diet and rest, your doctor may need to put you on blood pressure medicines. The APA advises that undiagnosed or untreated preeclampsia can result in eclampsia, a condition which can cause dangerous seizures in the expectant mother.
Let Us Assist You Today
If you or someone you care about has suffered pregnancy related complications as the result of medical negligence or errors, contact Hogan Frick Law today. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys understand the heartbreaking effects these complications can have on you and your child. We can advise you on how to hold responsible parties accountable, so that you can get the compensation your family needs to recover.