Connecticut Preeclampsia Lawyers for Complications During Pregnancy
Preeclampsia is a potentially dangerous medical condition that occurs in about eight percent of pregnancies. It is characterized by maternal high blood pressure and usually (though not always) a high level of protein in the expecting mother’s urine. Preeclampsia presents risks for both the mother and the fetus; and, if not treated promptly, it can lead to HELLP syndrome and eclampsia, both of which have the potential to result in severe complications.
Diagnosing preeclampsia is fairly straightforward; and, due to the combination of a relatively high prevalence and the risk of severe negative outcomes, doctors should carefully monitor for signs of preeclampsia during the later stages of an expecting mother’s pregnancy. Failure to do so may constitute medical malpractice, and it may support a claim for significant financial compensation. Seek immediate help from the trusted Connecticut Preeclampsia attorneys at Berkowitz Hanna.
What Causes Preeclampsia? What Are the Warning Signs?
Doctors do not yet know the precise cause of preeclampsia. As the Cleveland Clinic explains, “[p]reeclampsia is thought to arise from a problem with the health of the placenta . . . It is thought that the blood supply to the placenta is decreased in preeclampsia, and this can lead to problems with both the mother and baby.”
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the cause of preeclampsia, there are several known risk factors. One of the main risk factors is high blood pressure (hypertension). While it was previously believed that protein in the urine was a necessary component of preeclampsia, this is no longer the case. According to the Mayo Clinic:
“Previously, preeclampsia was only diagnosed if high blood pressure and protein in the urine were present. However, experts now know that it’s possible to have preeclampsia, yet never have protein in the urine.”
In addition to hypertension, the other primary risk factors for preeclampsia include:
- First-time pregnancy
- Being pregnant with multiples (e.g., twins or triplets)
- In vitro fertilization
- Kidney disease
- Immune system disorders
- Family history of preeclampsia or hypertension
- Being under the age of 20
- Being over the age of 40
- Being African American
Whether or not these risk factors are present, it is important for doctors to monitor for symptoms of preeclampsia during the later stages of pregnancy (preeclampsia is most common after the 20th week of pregnancy). These symptoms include, but may not be limited to, headaches, blurred vision, seeing dark spots and other visual disturbances, abdominal pain, impaired liver function, unexplained weight gain, shortness of breath, and swelling.
What Are the Risks Associated with Preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia can lead to a number of different complications for both the expecting mother and the fetus. In order to mitigate the risk of these complications, doctors will generally recommend that mothers avoid strenuous activity, and they may recommend bed rest if the risk of complications appears to be significant. In some cases, induced labor or a cesarean section (C-section) delivery may be necessary in order to protect against complications including:
- Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)
- Oxygen deprivation to the fetus (potentially resulting in cerebral palsy, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), and other brain injuries)
- Placental abruption
- Seizure disorders
- Premature birth
Preeclampsia also presents risks for HELLP syndrome and eclampsia. Both of these are potentially-serious conditions, and prompt medical intervention will often be necessary:
- HELLP Syndrome – HELLP syndrome is a severe form of preeclampsia which will often necessitate an immediate delivery. It is characterized by a breakdown of the red blood cells, low platelet count, and damage to the liver. Importantly, HELLP syndrome is not always associated with high blood pressure, and for this reason, it is commonly overlooked or misdiagnosed as something other than a form of preeclampsia.
- Eclampsia – Eclampsia can result from untreated preeclampsia during pregnancy. Although relatively rare (occurring in about one percent of cases of preeclampsia, according to the Cleveland Clinic), it presents life-threatening risks, and therefore must be considered in all cases in which preeclampsia is diagnosed during pregnancy.
When Should You Consult with a Connecticut Preeclampsia Attorney?
If you, or your spouse or partner, have been diagnosed with preeclampsia, and if you, your spouse or partner, or your child has experienced any complications related to preeclampsia, you should discuss your legal rights with a birth injury attorney. We have decades of experience representing families throughout Connecticut, and our Connecticut Preeclampsia lawyers can help make sure your family receives the financial compensation it deserves.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation at Berkowitz Hanna
For more information about seeking financial compensation following a preeclampsia diagnosis in Connecticut, please call or contact us online. Your initial consultation is free and confidential, and we do not charge anything unless we win.