Trusted Connecticut Polyhydramnios Lawyers Ready To Represent Families
Polyhydramnios is a condition in which excess amniotic fluid collects in an expecting mother’s uterus. While this is not necessarily dangerous, if left untreated, polyhydramnios can lead to complications for the fetus. As a result, prompt diagnosis and careful monitoring of symptoms are critical, and failure to provide necessary care to an expecting mother with polyhydramnios may constitute medical malpractice.
Polyhydramnios is relatively rare. According to the Cleveland Clinic, only about one percent of expecting mothers experience polyhydramnios during their pregnancies. However, due to the potential for severe complications, doctors must still carefully assess potential warning signs, and they must intervene to protect the fetus as necessary.
Understanding the Warning Signs of Polyhydramnios
There are a number of risk factors that can increase the chances of an expecting mother experiencing polyhydramnios during pregnancy. These include maternal diabetes (including gestational diabetes), blood-type incompatibility, and congenital abnormalities, among others. However, polyhydramnios can occur during any pregnancy; and, during pregnancy, the expecting mother’s doctor must carefully monitor for signs of this potentially-dangerous condition. These signs include:
- Constipation and producing little urine
- Difficulty breathing
- Enlarged vulva
- Fetal infections
- Placental complications
- Swelling in the lower extremities
- Tightness in the stomach
Symptoms of polyhydramnios may begin as early as the 16th week of pregnancy, although they are more common in the second and third trimesters.
Understanding the Potential Effects for the Fetus
Polyhydramnios occurs because the fetus is unable to sufficiently process the amniotic fluid in the womb. Amniotic fluid is essential to the fetus’s development, and it also serves to protect the fetus during pregnancy.
While too little amniotic fluid (a condition known as oligohydramnios) can be dangerous, too much amniotic fluid in the womb can be dangerous as well. Not only can excessive amniotic fluid in the womb mean that the baby may not be getting the nutrition and oxygen he or she needs, but it can also increase the risk of pregnancy complications. With these dual risks in mind, some of the potential risks associated with polyhydramnios include:
- Abnormal Fetal Presentation – With excessive amniotic fluid in the womb, the fetus may be more likely to shift positions prior to delivery. Various types of abnormal fetal presentation can significantly increase the risk of birth injuries to both the mother and the fetus.
- Macrosomia – Polyhydramnios is associated with macrosomia (the fetus growing abnormally large in the womb) in some cases. Macrosomia increases the risks of complications during labor and delivery, including the risk of shoulder dystocia and other birth injuries due to delayed delivery.
- Premature Birth – While premature birth is not inherently dangerous, the risks associated with premature birth are greater than those associated with a full-term pregnancy.
- Placental Abruption – When excessive amniotic fluid builds up in the womb, this can place pressure on the placenta, potentially causing it to separate from the uterine wall. This condition, known as placental abruption, can be extremely dangerous and will often require emergency medical intervention.
- Umbilical Cord Prolapse – Excessive amniotic fluid in the womb can also force the umbilical cord down into the birth canal, which is referred to as umbilical cord prolapse. This, too, may need to be treated as a medical emergency.
These and other risks associated with polyhydramnios can lead to oxygen deprivation, birth trauma, and other issues. As a result, birth asphyxia, cerebral palsy, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), seizure disorders, and various other birth injuries are all potential outcomes of polyhydramnios during pregnancy.
Understanding Your Family’s Legal Rights following a Birth Injury Caused by Polyhydramnios
If your child has been diagnosed with any birth injury that is associated with polyhydramnios, it will be important for you to speak with an experienced Connecticut Polyhydramnios attorney about your family’s legal rights. Cerebral palsy, HIE, and the various other conditions linked to excessive amniotic fluid in the womb can have drastic consequences, and they can take enormous financial and emotional tolls on families.
At Berkowitz Hanna, we bring decades of experience to helping families recover just compensation for birth injuries caused by medical negligence. If your doctor failed to timely diagnose or treat your polyhydramnios, our lawyers can use their experience to prove your case and fight to make sure your family receives the compensation it deserves.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Connecticut Polyhydramnios Attorney
If you would like more information about filing a birth injury claim for failure to timely diagnose or treat polyhydramnios, we encourage you to contact us promptly. To speak with one of our Connecticut Polyhydramnios lawyers in confidence, please call or request a free consultation online today.