Wrongful Death: Preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome
The excitement and anticipation of pregnancy is greatly diminished when medical complications arise. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-related health condition that develops when the expecting mother develops high blood pressure and related medical problems. The Preeclampsia Foundation reports that the condition affects thousands of women and babies every year. Even though it is a common complication, every case deserves serious consideration from the treating physician. When this doesn’t occur, the condition can potentially lead to significant injuries and wrongful death of the mother and newborn.
Many of the symptoms related to preeclampsia are general complaints made by most pregnant women, including swollen feet, rapid weight gain and edema. The commonality of these symptoms creates a situation where, taken alone, they do not necessarily alert the physician to a more serious problem. Detection is best handled through regularly scheduled obstetrician appointments, with the physician monitoring the blood pressure and protein levels of the mother. If the physician is taking reasonable precautions, preeclampsia detection should occur early in the pregnancy.
According to The National Institute of Health approximately 15% of preeclampsia cases evolve into Hemolysis, Elevated Liver Enzymes, Low Platelets Count Syndrome (HELLP). This is a more serious condition that can lead to the death of the mother and/or baby. Generally occurring around the 37 weeks of pregnancy, symptoms of HELLP include blurry vision, abdominal pain and extensive bleeding. Diagnosis is completed through the use of a CT scan, which allows the doctor to see any bleeding that may be happening in the mother’s liver. Additional monitoring is completed through a fetal non-stress test and regular ultrasounds. These tests are completed to identify possible dangers to the fetus.
Diagnosis and Treatment in Miami
Blood pressure medication is often prescribed to prevent the serious effects of preeclampsia and HELLP. The physician may also instruct the mother to restrict her dietary intake of certain foods. If none of these treatments are successful, the mother is generally placed on bed rest for the duration of the pregnancy. If the complications continue to persist, the physician may administer corticosteroid, which prepares the fetus for the possibility of a premature delivery. If the doctor diagnoses and treats these conditions early enough, it is completely possible for the mother and baby to experience a healthy delivery.
Unfortunately, this does not always happen. The doctor may fail to diagnose preeclampsia and HELLP. The result may be a premature birth, which can significantly injure the newborn. Extensive bleeding during delivery is another possible issue for the mother, along with possible kidney failure. According to the National Institute of Health, separation of the placenta from the uterine wall is another common problem, which often results in fetal distress .
If you or your baby experienced birth injuries from preeclampsia or HELLP, and you believe your doctor did not properly diagnose or treat the condition, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers of Miami based Pita Weber & Del Prado at (305) 600-3512. With extensive knowledge of the Florida court system, our lawyers will aggressively fight for the compensation that you and your child deserve.