Every day of pregnancy is just as important to the health of your baby as the hours before their birth. To maintain a healthy lifestyle while a fetus grows, a pregnant mother may change her diet, take vitamins, and attend frequent medical appointments to monitor her condition. During these check-ins, doctors must thoroughly evaluate a mother’s health and be prepared to respond to any issues. One common pregnancy issue that may be identified during pregnancy is preeclampsia, a complication that causes high blood pressure.
Although it is not always dangerous, preeclampsia can develop and cause further complications if left undetected and untreated. Our Indianapolis preeclampsia attorneys are available to discuss how a doctor’s negligence impacted you.
To schedule a free consultation, complete our contact form or call (888) 204-8440.
Signs and Symptoms of Preeclampsia
The signs and symptoms of preeclampsia typically appear after the 34th week of pregnancy, but can appear as early as 20 weeks or as late as 48 hours before delivery.
A pregnant woman who has developed preeclampsia may exhibit symptoms such as:
- High blood pressure
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swelling in the eyes, face, and hands
- Minimal urination
- Extreme weight gain in a short period of time
- Vision problems
- Kidney issues
The cure for preeclampsia is delivery, which may need to be induced if the mother is not ready to give birth. A Caesarean section is another option. Despite delivery being a cure for preeclampsia, the symptoms can continue to show for up to 12 weeks after birth.
Causes of Preeclampsia
Although preeclampsia is marked by a rise in blood pressure, one of the top risk factors is no history of high blood pressure. However, a history of high blood pressure does not make someone immune to preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia may also occur more frequently in mothers who:
- Are very young or over the age of 40
- Are having their first child
- Are carrying twins, triplets, or more babies
- Have their own history or a family history of preeclampsia
- Have a history of diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or kidney disease
- Are obese or have been obese in the past
Is Preeclampsia Normal?
Preeclampsia is relatively common — it impacts approximately 5-8% of pregnant women. Despite its frequency, preeclampsia is a complication and should be addressed as soon as possible. Many of the issues that result from preeclampsia are a result of the condition remaining untreated, and developing into eclampsia. A doctor who fails to detect or treat preeclampsia in a pregnant patient endangers the life of the mother and the infant.
Eclampsia is the second stage of preeclampsia development, which can occur if the signs of preeclampsia are not addressed. Eclampsia causes severe pregnancy complications and death.
Complications that result from preeclampsia and eclampsia may include:
- Heart failure
- Liver issues
How is Preeclampsia Diagnosed and Treated?
Outside of symptom identification, preeclampsia can be detected by testing a patient’s blood pressure levels, the amount of protein in their urine, or the presence of fluid in the lungs.
Mild preeclampsia cases can be addressed with bed rest and medication (such as magnesium, hydralazine, or steroids). During the treatment period, medical professionals should conduct blood tests, urine tests, and ultrasounds, as well as monitor the fetus’s heart rate.
More advanced cases of preeclampsia can only be “cured” through the delivery of the fetus. Even if the infant is not fully developed, the baby must be delivered as soon as possible. Because of this, premature delivery could be considered as another issue associated with preeclampsia.
Call Wagner Reese to Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Attorney
Preeclampsia, if left untreated, can cause severe birth injuries. It is a doctor’s responsibility to identify the signs of possible preeclampsia development and address the condition promptly. Medical professionals who ignore symptoms or fail to provide treatment could be guilty of malpractice. Contact our preeclampsia lawyers in Indianapolis to discuss the details of your case.
If you are interested in a free consultation with the Wagner Reese legal team, send us your information or call us at (888) 204-8440.