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What Happens if Preeclampsia Goes Undiagnosed? 

 Posted on December 20, 2022 in Medical Malpractice

rockford birth injury lawyerEven with all the remarkable advances in maternal healthcare, pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum recovery still pose serious risks to pregnant mothers in Illinois. One of the riskiest conditions that a pregnant mother can be diagnosed with is preeclampsia. Maternal healthcare providers should be carefully trained to recognize early symptoms of preeclampsia because this condition can escalate quickly into serious complications and may even be fatal for both mother and child. 

Failure to diagnose preeclampsia is among the most serious and consequential types of medical malpractice, and doctors, nurses, and hospitals who fail to provide pregnant patients with the highest standard of care should be held accountable for their actions. If you or a loved one had preeclampsia and your team of healthcare providers did not diagnose you in a timely fashion, you may want to take legal action to recover compensation for any damages you suffered. 

What is Preeclampsia?

Understanding preeclampsia is essential for understanding why it is so important to catch and treat early. For reasons that are not yet entirely clear, some pregnant women develop certain symptoms that indicate preeclampsia. These include, but are not limited to: 

  • High blood pressure

  • Excess protein in urine or other signs of kidney failure

  • Liver problems 

  • Severe headaches 

  • Decreased blood platelets 

  • Blurry vision or temporary vision loss 

  • Fluid buildup in the lungs that causes shortness of breath 

  • Belly pain 

  • Nausea and vomiting 

  • Sudden swelling, especially in the face and hands 

Because certain symptoms of preeclampsia, such as swelling and headaches, may be difficult to distinguish from regular pregnancy symptoms, healthcare practitioners must be alert and cautious about ensuring these are not signs that preeclampsia is developing. 

What Happens When Preeclampsia is Left Untreated? 

When preeclampsia is left undiagnosed and untreated, it can develop into eclampsia, which can quickly become life-threatening. Serious consequences of untreated preeclampsia include: 

  • Fetal growth restriction due to a lack of healthy blood flow to the placenta and the baby 

  • Early delivery 

  • Placental abruption, which is where the placenta separates from the uterus prematurely 

  • HELLP syndrome, which is a life-threatening condition involving elevated liver enzymes 

  • Eclampsia, which is the onset of seizures or coma from which patients sometimes do not recover

  • Organ damage and failure 

  • Cardiovascular disease 

  • Death 

If a woman is diagnosed with preeclampsia, she can be carefully monitored for worsening symptoms. The most common treatment for preeclampsia is early delivery of the baby. 

Call a Rockford, IL Medical Malpractice Attorney Now

The consequences of undiagnosed preeclampsia can be dangerous and even fatal. If you suffered from undiagnosed preeclampsia or lost a loved one who did, you may be eligible to recover compensation from the healthcare provider or institution responsible for your loss. It is important to take action quickly so that valuable evidence is preserved and the statute of limitations does not run out. Our experienced, compassionate Winnebago County medical malpractice attorneys are here to help and offer no-pressure, complimentary consultations. Call Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of Schwartz Injury Law today at 815-215-7561





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