Preeclampsia is a serious pregnancy complication that threatens the life of both the mother and fetus. Although many pregnant women with preeclampsia feel fine, indicators that preeclampsia is developing show up on tests their pre-natal care providers should be performing regularly.
If a failure to diagnose preeclampsia or late diagnosis led to maternal or fetal injury or death, a local attorney could hold the treating medical providers liable for damages. If you or a family member had this terrible experience, consult a Bloomington preeclampsia lawyer to learn about your legal options.
Can Preeclampsia Be Treated?
The cure for preeclampsia is to deliver the child. However, if the pregnancy is still in the second trimester or early third trimester, the chances of harm to the baby may lead physicians to try to use medication and bed rest to delay delivery. Hospitalization could also be necessary.
Although any woman could develop preeclampsia, expectant mothers who are 40 years of age or older or have a history of hypertension are at higher risk of developing the condition. Their providers must monitor them very closely, especially during the latter stages of pregnancy when preeclampsia typically develops.
Healthcare providers should check an expectant mother’s blood pressure and urine at every prenatal visit. High blood pressure and protein in the urine are both indicators of developing preeclampsia. Blood tests can confirm the diagnosis. If the mother’s obstetrics team failed to provide adequate testing and preeclampsia was present but undiagnosed, a Bloomington attorney could bring a lawsuit alleging a failure to meet an appropriate standard of care.
Preventing Birth Injuries Caused by Preeclampsia
Once an expectant mother has a preeclampsia diagnosis, her healthcare team should:
- Regularly test her kidney and liver function
- Perform ultrasounds to ensure the placenta is providing oxygen and nutrients to the fetus
- Check that the fetus is growing properly
- Monitor the infant’s heartbeat for signs of fetal distress
When preeclampsia is not treated, mothers may suffer seizures that cause permanent brain damage. They also could develop other conditions that lead to stroke and organ failure. Babies of mothers with preeclampsia could be small because they received inadequate nutrition in the womb or may need to be delivered early and suffer any of the birth injuries common to pre-term babies. Tragically, a significant percentage of the babies of mothers with preeclampsia are stillborn.
Failure to take proper action to protect the health of the mother and infant could constitute a failure to meet the appropriate standard of care. If your family is considering a medical malpractice lawsuit, 735 Illinois Consolidated Statutes §5/2-622(a) requires your legal team to consult a physician qualified to practice obstetrics to review your medical records. If the physician finds that the expectant mother’s medical team did not meet the standard of care, a local preeclampsia attorney could file a lawsuit.
Could a Mother’s Conduct Impact the Claim?
If a mother did not keep her prenatal appointments, comply with her healthcare provider’s recommendations, or engaged in activities like misusing substances during her pregnancy, these behaviors could have an impact on the outcome of a birth injury lawsuit. 735 ILCS §5/2-1116 requires a court to apportion blame in any kind of negligence action. Your legal team can further evaluate the specific circumstances of your case and prepare you for any such claims that might arise from the insurance companies who defend medical providers in a malpractice action.
Speak with a Bloomington Preeclampsia Attorney Today
Experiencing preeclampsia is a traumatic experience. It is hard on the mother’s mind and body and could leave the baby with severe birth injuries. Your family needs a reliable advocate to handle the burdens involved with pursuing a claim for compensation so you can focus on caring for our family.