What is preeclampsia?

A previous post on this blog discussed a medical malpractice case which involved a young mother who had preeclampsia. The issue in that case was that the woman’s caregivers advised her to forego a C-Section and go forward with a vaginal birth due to her condition.

Ultimately, the woman’s child was born with cerebral palsy. The child’s condition developed because the child did not have enough oxygen during the birth.

As that previous post mentioned, preeclampsia is a serious medical condition that in the most severe cases can cost both the mother and the baby their lives. While what causes preeclampsia is not known precisely, the condition involves the malfunction of the blood vessels around a woman’s placenta. The prominent symptom is that the woman starts experiencing high blood pressure.

Especially if it starts early in pregnancy or is particularly severe, preeclampsia can be associated with serious medical issues. For example, the baby may not get adequate nutrients to grow and thrive in the womb.

Additionally, the separation of the mother’s placenta from the uterus, called an abruption, happens more frequently when a woman has preeclampsia. An abruption can cause a catastrophic loss of blood.

The condition can also cause damage to a woman’s other vital organs.

When a woman has preeclampsia, she will have to rely heavily on the good judgment of her medical team to make important medical decisions about the course of treatment, including decisions about whether it is safe to induce labor or to go forward with a C-Section.

After all, if the team gives bad advice or makes mistakes, it could lead to a serious injury or even death. In such cases, a woman may be able to recover compensation for injuries both to herself and to her child. She may do so by filing a medical malpractice claim against those responsible for the injuries.