Eclampsia Injury Lawyer Cleveland
Parents hope for an easy pregnancy that will result in the birth of a healthy baby. However, complications sometimes occur that places both mom and baby in harm’s way. If the complications and resulting injuries were the result of medical negligence or medical malpractice, we may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit for the mother’s injuries, and a birth injury lawsuit for the birth injuries suffered by your beautiful baby
Birth injury lawsuits are particularly heart wrenching for birth injury lawyers, like myself. It’s difficult to put into words how hard it is to see an injured baby. This is exactly why I became an injury lawyer – to help families when a doctor fails to provide the standard of care
Preeclampsia and Eclampsia
Preeclampsia and eclampsia are two very serious complications of pregnancy. When preeclampsia occurs, it is characterized by very high blood pressure, swelling of the extremities and protein in the urine. If allowed to progress, the result can be eclampsia, a dangerous and life-threatening condition that can cause seizures, blindness, kidney failure, liver rupture, brain swelling and placental abruption.
A preeclampsia pregnancy complication is most common in first pregnancies. Those at higher risk include: pregnant women under 20 or over 35 years of age, women who are pregnant with multiples, and women with pre-existing hypertension, diabetes, or kidney disease. Sadly, preeclampsia can and does occur to moms with no pre-existing condition or other risk factors. This is why it is essential for health professionals to closely monitor and react to women with symptoms of preeclampsia.
In cases of severe preeclampsia, doctors may monitor the patient very closely rather than perform an emergency C-section. This is done to allow the baby to develop and to reduce the chance of complications that result from a premature birth. However, if the patient’s condition worsens, mother and baby are in danger and the baby must be delivered. Preeclampsia symptoms typically resolve soon after delivery.
What is Eclampsia?
Eclampsia is a serious medical condition that can occur during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth. It is characterized by the onset of seizures in a woman who has a condition called preeclampsia. Preeclampsia typically occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy. Eclampsia is considered a severe complication of preeclampsia and is marked by the occurrence of seizures.
The exact cause of preeclampsia and eclampsia is believed to be related to problems with the placenta, the organ that nourishes the fetus during pregnancy. These conditions can lead to reduced blood flow to vital organs and cause damage to blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure and other complications.
The effects of eclampsia on a pregnant woman or new mother can be quite serious and potentially life-threatening. Some of the effects include:
Eclampsia is characterized by the onset of seizures, which are uncontrolled and abnormal bursts of electrical activity in the brain. Seizures can range from mild to severe and may require medical intervention to control.
High Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure is often associated with pregnancy induced hypertension, which can damage blood vessels, the heart, and other organs. This can lead to complications such as stroke, heart attack, and organ failure.
Eclampsia can damage various organs, including the brain, liver, kidneys, and lungs. This can result in serious complications and long-term health issues.
In some cases, eclampsia can lead to the detachment of the placenta from the uterine wall before childbirth. This can result in severe bleeding and endanger both the mother and the fetus.
Eclampsia is also associated with a condition known as HELLP syndrome, which involves a combination of Hemolysis (breakdown of red blood cells), elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count. This syndrome can cause serious complications for the mother and the baby
To prevent further harm to the mother and baby, doctors may need to deliver the baby prematurely if eclampsia becomes severe. With any surgery, including C-sections, complications can occur for mother and child. Preterm birth can lead to a range of health issues for the newborn.
Because eclampsia is a medical emergency, prompt treatment is crucial. The healthcare team will closely and properly monitor blood pressure, urine protein, abdominal pain, and possible severe headache to detect and manage preeclampsia, reducing the risk of eclampsia and its associated complications.
Symptoms of Preeclampsia:
High Blood Pressure:
Preeclampsia is often characterized by a notable rise in the mother’s blood pressure levels. Blood pressure readings consistently exceeding 140/90 mm Hg after the 20th week of pregnancy may indicate this condition. Elevated blood pressure can strain blood vessels, impair organ function, and reduce blood flow to the placenta, potentially affecting the baby’s growth and the mother’s health.
An excess of protein in the urine, known as proteinuria, is a key indicator of preeclampsia. This occurs due to the compromised filtering function of the kidneys, allowing proteins to leak into the urine. Proteinuria can signify kidney damage and the potential for severe complications in both the pregnant person and the developing fetus.
Swelling, particularly in the hands, face, and feet, can be associated with preeclampsia. While some degree of swelling is common in pregnancy, excessive or sudden edema could signal an underlying issue. Preeclampsia-related swelling occurs due to fluid retention and can contribute to discomfort and, in severe cases, affect circulation.
Intense and persistent headaches that don’t respond to typical remedies are a concerning symptom associated with preeclampsia. These headaches are often described as throbbing and may be accompanied by visual disturbances or dizziness. They arise from restricted blood vessels and reduced blood flow to the brain, emphasizing the need for prompt medical evaluation.
Vision problems, such as blurriness, seeing spots, or sensitivity to light, can be linked to preeclampsia. These disturbances arise due to changes in blood vessels in the eyes, potentially affecting the retina’s function. Monitoring vision changes is crucial, as they can have implications for both the pregnant person and the developing baby.
Upper Abdominal Pain:
Severe or persistent pain in the upper right abdomen can indicate liver involvement or other complications related to preeclampsia. This discomfort is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Abdominal pain in the context of preeclampsia can signal potential damage to organs and emphasizes the need for medical attention.
Shortness of Breath:
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, particularly when not attributed to physical exertion, may result from fluid accumulation in the lungs—a consequence of preeclampsia. This fluid buildup can impair oxygen exchange and necessitates immediate medical evaluation to prevent respiratory distress.
Sudden Weight Gain:
Rapid weight gain, exceeding 2 pounds in a week, can be an indicator of fluid retention due to preeclampsia. This weight gain is often accompanied by swelling and can be a sign of worsening preeclampsia. Monitoring weight changes is vital to catch potential complications early.
Decreased urine output might signify impaired kidney function, which is a significant concern in preeclampsia. The kidneys’ reduced ability to filter waste and excess fluids can lead to electrolyte imbalances and further complications. Monitoring urinary patterns is crucial to ensure proper kidney function and overall health.
If you suffered any of the symptoms noted above, but were not diagnosed with preeclampsia, I can help. As a highly experienced birth injury lawyer, I will find out what happened and will hold those responsible for your or your baby’s injury, accountable. It is vital for medical professionals to treat your pregnancy with care, and be vigilant. Ignoring these symptoms is simply unacceptable. For more than 40 years I have been a preeclampsia attorney, and have helped mother’s get the help they need. Call me today for your free consultation.
Possible Effects on the Child
When a mother suffers from eclampsia, it can result in adverse effects on the child, both during pregnancy and after birth. Eclampsia and its complications can impact the baby’s health and development in various ways:
Preterm Birth: To protect the health of both the mother and the baby, healthcare providers may need to deliver the baby prematurely if the eclampsia becomes severe. Preterm birth can lead to a range of health issues for the newborn, including respiratory problems, low birth weight, and developmental challenges.
Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR): Eclampsia can affect blood flow to the placenta, potentially leading to reduced oxygen and nutrient supply to the developing fetus. This can result in intrauterine growth restriction, where the baby does not grow at a normal rate, leading to lower birth weight and possible developmental concerns.
Placental Abruption: Eclampsia can increase the risk of placental abruption, which is the separation of the placenta from the uterine wall before childbirth. Placental abruption can cause heavy bleeding, oxygen deprivation for the baby, and other complications.
Low Apgar Scores: Apgar scores are used to assess a newborn’s health at one and five minutes after birth. Babies born to mothers with severe eclampsia may have lower Apgar scores due to potential oxygen deprivation during the labor and delivery process.
Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS): Babies born prematurely due to eclampsia are at higher risk of developing respiratory distress syndrome. This condition occurs when the baby’s lungs are not fully developed, leading to difficulty breathing.
Neurological Issues: In cases of severe eclampsia, the baby’s brain could be affected by reduced blood and oxygen supply. This can lead to a brain injury and neurological issues such as developmental delays, cerebral palsy, and other cognitive or motor impairments.
NICU Stay: Babies born prematurely or with health complications due to eclampsia, may require care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to ensure proper development.
If Your Doctor Failed to Diagnose Preeclampsia, and Your Baby Suffered Injury Because of it, You Need to Call Me and I’ll Make Them Pay!® I Have More Than 40 years of Experience Handling Birth Injury Cases.
Eclampsia is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment to manage seizures, stabilize the pregnant woman, and prevent further complications. In pregnant women, it is so important to notice the risk factors, and treat preeclampsia to avoid the escalation of symptoms. Treatment for eclampsia typically involves a combination of medical interventions:
Seizure Management: The primary concern in eclampsia is to control and manage seizures. Medications such as magnesium sulfate are commonly administered intravenously to prevent and treat seizures. Magnesium sulfate helps relax muscles and reduce the risk of severe seizures.
Blood Pressure Control: High blood pressure is a significant issue of eclampsia. Medications such as antihypertensive drugs may be given to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of complications related to hypertension.
Monitoring and Assessment: Continuous monitoring of the pregnant woman’s vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels, is crucial. Monitoring helps healthcare professionals assess the response to treatment and detect any further issues.
Fetal Monitoring: The well-being of the fetus is closely monitored during eclampsia treatment. This may involve continuous electronic fetal monitoring to track the baby’s heart rate and assess its condition.
Labor and Delivery: Depending on the gestational age and severity of the condition, delivering the baby may be necessary to protect the health of the mother and the fetus. If eclampsia occurs before the baby is full-term, induction of labor or a cesarean section might be recommended.
Medications for Other Complications: Additional medications may be prescribed to manage complications such as HELLP syndrome (Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes, Low Platelet count) or other organ-related issues.
Intensive Care: In severe cases of eclampsia, pregnant women may need to be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) for more specialized care and monitoring.
Postpartum Care: After delivery, close monitoring and medical care continue to address any residual effects of eclampsia and to manage potential postpartum complications.
Your doctor needs to carefully monitor your preeclampsia symptoms so you can avoid the progression to eclampsia. Your health and your child’s health depend on it.
Preeclampsia Caused by Medical Malpractice
Preeclampsia is a complex medical condition that can arise due to various factors, including genetics, maternal health, and placental issues. In some cases, medical malpractice may contribute to the development or exacerbation of preeclampsia. Medical malpractice refers to a breach of the standard of care that a healthcare provider is expected to provide to their patients. Here’s how preeclampsia could potentially be caused or worsened by medical malpractice:
Failure to Monitor and Detect: If a healthcare provider fails to perform routine check-ups or misses signs of rising blood pressure or proteinuria, this may delay the diagnosis of preeclampsia and its timely management.
Lack of Communication: If your doctor dismisses concerns, fails to explain potential risks, or doesn’t provide clear instructions for self-monitoring, it could lead to missed opportunities for early detection and intervention.
Misdiagnosis: Misdiagnosis can occur if a healthcare provider does not thoroughly assess the patient’s symptoms and medical history. Misdiagnosis may lead to delayed or inappropriate treatment.
Inadequate Treatment: If a healthcare provider fails to provide appropriate treatment options or delays necessary interventions, you may have an increased risk of more severe complications for the mother and the baby.
Poor Follow-up Care: Postpartum care is essential for monitoring the mother’s health after delivery, as preeclampsia can persist or develop even after childbirth. If a healthcare provider fails to provide proper follow-up care, potential complications may go unnoticed and untreated.
Improper Medication Management: Administering incorrect medications or wrong dosages can lead to inadequate control of blood pressure or other symptoms, thus worsening the effects of preeclampsia.
Failure to Provide Referrals: If a patient is at high risk for preeclampsia due to preexisting conditions or family history, healthcare providers should take appropriate precautions and potentially refer the patient to a specialist.
Inadequate Patient Education: Patients should be informed about the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia and the importance of seeking immediate medical attention if they experience them. If a healthcare provider fails to educate the patient about these risks, the patient may not recognize the warning signs.
Monetary Compensation for Eclampsia Due to Malpractice
When a mother’s eclampsia goes undiagnosed due to medical malpractice, potential damages may include:
Medical Expenses: This includes costs related to hospitalization, doctor visits, medication, tests, and treatments required to address the eclampsia and its complications.
Future Medical Expenses: If the mother’s health has been significantly affected by eclampsia, she may require ongoing medical care, medication, and treatment. Future medical expenses can be claimed to cover these anticipated costs.
Pain and Suffering: Eclampsia can cause significant physical and emotional distress. Pain and suffering damages aim to compensate the mother for the physical pain, emotional trauma, and mental anguish she has experienced.
Loss of Earnings: If the mother was unable to work or suffered a loss of earning capacity due to eclampsia and its aftermath, she can seek compensation for the income she would have earned during that time.
Loss of Consortium: This refers to the loss of companionship, emotional support, and intimacy between the mother and her partner due to the impact of eclampsia on her health and well-being.
Childcare and Household Help: If the mother’s ability to care for her child or manage household tasks has been compromised due to eclampsia, the costs of hiring help or assistance can be sought.
Wrongful Death (if applicable): In cases where eclampsia leads to the death of the mother or baby, the surviving family members may be able to sue for wrongful death damages. This may include funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional distress.
Permanent Disability or Impairment: If the mother experiences long-term or permanent disability or impairment as a result of eclampsia, damages can be sought to compensate for the loss of quality of life, future earning capacity, and the need for ongoing care.
Emotional Distress: This encompasses the emotional trauma, anxiety, and psychological impact that eclampsia and its consequences can have on the mother’s mental well-being.
Punitive Damages (in certain cases): If the medical malpractice was particularly egregious, willful, or showed a reckless disregard for the mother’s safety, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party and deter similar behavior in the future.
If you experienced signs of preeclampsia, but your doctor ignored the symptoms and you or your baby suffered harmful effects, you may have a medical negligence claim. Call me to discuss your case. You know “I’ll Make Them Pay!®”.