Preeclampsia is a hypertension disorder during pregnancy that is characterized by high blood pressure and proteinuria. Proper diagnosis and management of preeclampsia is of utmost importance because of the grave risks that that condition could present. Improper diagnosis and management of preeclampsia could threaten the life and health of a mother and her unborn child. Hypertensive disorders during pregnancy constitute a major health issue for women and their infants in the United States.
Four different categories of hypertension can occur during pregnancy: preeclampsia, chronic hypertension (hypertension that predates pregnancy), chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia (chronic hypertension in association with preeclampsia), and gestational hypertension. Of these, general preeclampsia and chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia present the greatest risk to women and their infants. Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia presents the greatest challenge because it requires frequent observation for medical staff to properly recognize whether preeclampsia has been superimposed. Symptoms of preeclampsia are thrombocytopenia, high diastolic or systolic blood pressure, impaired liver function, progressive renal insufficiency, pulmonary edema, or new-onset cerebral or visual disturbances.
Due to the severe risk of death or injury from preeclampsia, doctors and midwives should take preeclampsia extremely seriously. Health care providers should inform their patients during the prenatal and postpartum periods of the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia and stress the importance of contacting the health care providers if those symptoms are apparent.
Management of Preeclampsia in Pregnancy
The most important job of the health care provider in the management of preeclampsia is to appreciate the dynamically changing physiology in a patient with preeclampsia. Even with proper care and management serious maternal and fetal morbidities may still occur. The premier method of managing cases of hypertension requires close observation for signs of symptoms before, during, and after a pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ research shows that deaths can be avoided if health care providers remain vigilant to the signs of progression of preeclampsia. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also recommends an increased awareness of preeclampsia during the post-partum period. If you have previously had preeclampsia and are planning a pregnancy, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists highly recommends that you seek a healthcare professional before beginning your journey.
Cardiovascular Disease in Women with Prior Preeclampsia
Women that have previously had preeclampsia have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease later in life. Moreover, women who have had preeclampsia and gave birth before 34 weeks of gestation are at the highest risk of later-life cardiovascular disease. While preeclampsia does not cause cardiovascular disease, both preeclampsia and cardiovascular disease share common risk factors. To reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease after preeclampsia the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends healthy weight, healthy habits, and increased physical activity.
What to Do If You Are at Risk or Have Been Diagnosed with Preeclampsia
If you are at risk or have been diagnosed with preeclampsia Perenich Law Injury Attorneys highly recommends that you seek the best doctors to provide the best care for you and your infant. Suffering an injury or death from preeclampsia can be devastating to any family, both emotionally as well as financially. If you, your child, or a loved one has suffered an injury or death due to misdiagnosis or mismanagement of preeclampsia, you may be entitled to recover damages for a wrongful death, pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost future earnings, or other losses. We have successfully handled similar cases and we have the legal and expert support to win your case.
Contact our dedicated Tampa Bay medical malpractice attorneys at Perenich Law Injury Attorneys today for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation. Let our experience work for you.