Preeclampsia is when the mother’s blood pressure becomes elevated during the pregnancy. This could occur at any time during the mother’s pregnancy and increase the risk of fetal hypoxia or lack of oxygen to the baby. That is something that should be treated with medicine and monitored closely. If it becomes severe, there may be a need to change the treatment plan to avoid harm to the baby.

If your medical providers failed to address preeclampsia and your baby suffered as a result, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice suit. A skilled malpractice attorney could look at the facts of your case and give advice about your legal options. If they find evidence of negligence, a Hudson Valley preeclampsia lawyer could help you pursue fair compensation.

Treatment and Monitoring

There are some medications for preeclampsia that could be given to reduce the blood pressure. The mother could also be placed on bed rest and be told to limit her physical activity. Doctors may also monitor the mother’s and baby’s condition more closely. For example, a mother with preeclampsia could have as many as five or seven prenatal ultrasounds instead of the usual two.

Depending on the severity of the preeclampsia, a mother may stay in the hospital or be allowed to return home. In some cases, it is better to be in the hospital because it allows for round-the-clock monitoring of the baby’s condition. At a hospital, an external fetal monitor could continuously monitor the baby’s heart rate.

Additionally, a test called a biophysical profile could check the baby’s muscle tone and movement. The biophysical profile is an ultrasound that takes as many as 30 or 40 images that show the baby at different angles. It is also relied upon by the sonographer and the radiologist to provide a score on the baby’s wellbeing.

Doctor’s Visits

How often doctor’s visits should occur when dealing with preeclampsia varies depending on severity. It is important to understand that in some cases of preeclampsia, the mother should not be treating with a nurse midwife. Nurse midwives are intended for routine uncomplicated pregnancies of mothers who do not have any risk factors. A mother who has preeclampsia at a minimum should be treating with an obstetrician and ideally receiving care from a high-risk fetal-maternal expert who could evaluate the risks of her pregnancy and labor. They assist in determining what the best plan of treatment is and the best delivery options for the baby.

Untreated Preeclampsia

Typically, the mother is not affected by preeclampsia. Oftentimes, this is a silent condition, meaning the mother is unaware that she has hypertension or high blood pressure until she is told by the physician. Oftentimes, the mother would not have any symptoms or unusual pain. For that reason, it is important at every prenatal visit to check the mother’s blood pressure and compare it to her blood pressure before her pregnancy to determine whether it has been changing.

If preeclampsia is left untreated, it could lead to fetal hypoxia, which is lack of oxygen to the baby while in the womb. That lack of oxygen could result in permanent preventable brain damage or death to the baby.

Proving Medical Malpractice

Just like other types of birth injury cases, the evidence necessary to prove malpractice in birth injury cases involving preeclampsia must address the question of whether there was a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of fetal wellbeing. For example, if there is fetal distress, evidence on the fetal heart tracings and a failure to timely treat that or deliver the baby would be the basis for a lawsuit.

Hiring an experienced Hudson Valley preeclampsia lawyer is important to find out if there was a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of preeclampsia. The only way to determine that is to get all of the mother’s prenatal records, including the labor and delivery. An attorney could use these records to determine whether the obstetrician complied with the standard of care in treating the preeclampsia and whether there was a delay in the diagnosis or treatment that led to permanent injury or brain damage.