The Dangers of Misdiagnosed Preeclampsia
Prenatal care is vitally important to the health of the pregnant mother, as well as the new life being brought into the world. These regular doctor’s appointments are meant to monitor the progression of the pregnancy and ensure that there are no complications. During this important time, expectant mothers rely on their physicians to adequately assess their health, as well as diagnose and treat any medical problems. When this responsibility is not met, injuries and fatalities are possible.
There are numerous medical concerns that can negatively affect the health of a pregnant mother and her newborn baby. Preeclampsia is a condition that potentially develops when a woman’s blood pressure rises during pregnancy. Thousands of pregnant women are diagnosed with the illness each year, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation. The symptoms of the condition are similar to the usual side effects of pregnancy, including weight gain and swollen feet. The most telling sign of preeclampsia is hypertension, or prolonged elevation of blood pressure. Since most people do not check their blood pressure on a daily basis, adequate detection of preeclampsia is usually dependent on regular obstetrician appointments, where blood pressure is routinely measured and protein levels are monitored.
Upon diagnosing preeclampsia, your doctor should start an appropriate course of treatment. The prescription of high blood pressure medication is one possible treatment option, in conjunction with dietary restrictions. If the blood pressure is still uncontrolled, the expectant mother may be placed on bed rest until a full-term birth is possible. Your physician may also administer corticosteroid, which strengthens the fetus for the possibility of a premature delivery. If the doctor determines that the fetus is in stress, an early cesarean section is possible.
With regular examinations, your physician should diagnose the condition in a timely manner. However, a missed diagnosis can prevent the implementation of a treatment plan that prevents injury and death. When treating doctors miss a diagnosis of preeclampsia, the delivery can become particularly difficult and prolonged, which often leads to the following health concerns:
- Premature birth – Depending on the level of prematurity, the infant may have undeveloped lung, heart or brain development. This can lead to significant birth injuries.
- Excessive bleeding – During the birthing process, the mother may experience bleeding that is uncontrollable and dangerous to her well being. If too much blood is lost, the results may prove fatal.
- Kidney failure – The delivering mother may experience kidney failure during the delivery.
- Fluid Build Up – A prolonged, difficult delivery may cause fluid to accumulate inside of the baby’s lungs.
- Placenta separation – The placenta may separate from the uterine wall during a prolonged delivery. According to the National Institute of Health, half of all separation cases cause fetal distress.
If you or your baby experienced birth injuries from preeclampsia, and you believe your doctor did not correctly diagnose or treat your condition, contact the legal team of Pita Weber & Del Prado for help. Call the Miami office today at 305-670-2889 to speak with one of our lawyers.