New Jersey Preeclampsia Injury Lawyers
Handling claims of delayed and mistreated preeclampsia throughout NJ
In 2018, USA TODAY published an exposé on the number of maternal deaths and injuries every year in the country and listed high blood pressure – a common sign of the condition preeclampsia – as one of the most serious risks to a pregnant woman’s health and life. Mismanagement and misdiagnosis of this potentially fatal condition has made, in the words of the report, the U.S. “the most dangerous place in the developed world to give birth.”
If you or your loved one sustained serious injury, Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP can help. Our experienced New Jersey birth injury attorneys have secured millions of dollars on behalf of women and families affected by OB/GYN negligence. Contact us today to learn more about our services.
What is preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia is a medical condition affecting pregnant women. It typically starts around the 20-week mark of a pregnancy. It most often presents with high blood pressure and proteinuria (excess protein in the urine). If left untreated, it can be fatal to both the mother and the child.
The Preeclampsia Foundation reports that 5-8% of all births in the United States are impacted by preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders. Globally, about ten million women develop preeclampsia each year, and about 76,000 pregnant women die each year from the disorder. About 500,000 babies worldwide die from these disorders each year.
Additional signs of preeclampsia
High blood pressure on its own does not necessarily mean a woman has preeclampsia, but it is, by far, the most common sign. Other signs can include:
- Severe headaches
- Decreased urine output
- Decreased platelets count
- Edema in the face and hands
- Sudden weight gain (outside of the “normal” weight gain that comes with pregnancy)
- Poor liver function
- Severe headaches
- Vision problems
- Abdominal pain
- Fluid in the lungs
What causes preeclampsia?
There is no one set cause of preeclampsia. Per the Mayo Clinic, it could be genetic or autoimmune; it could also have to do with the blood flow to the uterus. What the experts can agree on is that it develops in the placenta. Data shows us that women who have developed preeclampsia with previous children are more likely to develop it again, and it is more common in women who are carrying twins, triplets, or other multiples. If you have other chronic conditions (like diabetes or lupus), or are over the age of 40, your risk of developing preeclampsia also increases.
There is no single test for preeclampsia, but experienced OB/GYNs have the knowledge necessary to detect it through screening methods such as blood pressure readings, urine tests, and ultrasounds. Once a doctor has identified the condition in a pregnant woman, the doctor should continue to monitor both the mother’s and the fetus’s health closely throughout the rest of pregnancy.
What happens when doctors fail to diagnose preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia can progress quickly if it is not diagnosed and treated immediately. If the disorder is not treated, the disorder can progress to eclampsia with seizures and an increased danger of stroke.
What is eclampsia?
Eclampsia is a severe complication of preeclampsia which causes seizures during pregnancy from the high blood pressure. A woman can develop eclampsia with no history of seizures. The symptoms of eclampsia are the same as those for preeclampsia with the addition of seizures, agitation, and loss of consciousness. (Healthline) High blood pressure and proteinuria are red flags for preeclampsia and eclampsia
The Journal of Critical Care Obstetrics and Gynecology describes eclampsia as a serious complication which occurs in about 1-2% of women with severe preeclampsia, and in 2.7-3.3 per 10,000 women. The recognition and treatment of preeclampsia is supposed to eliminate eclampsia, but this does not always occur.
Eclampsia can also affect the placenta. The reduced blood flow to the placenta keeps it from functioning properly. A baby born to a mother with eclampsia may suffer from low birth weight and other possible health conditions. (Healthline)
What is the accepted standard of care?
There is a principle in the law called an accepted standard of care. Your OB GYN owes you a standard of care that every other physician in the same medical specialty would provide for their patients. When a doctor’s actions or failure to act breaches that standard of care, and that breach causes injury to the patient, that can be considered malpractice.
The failure to diagnose and treat preeclampsia, which allows the disorder to progress and cause serious complications for the mother and baby, may be grounds for legal action. In a USA Today story, one of the trainers at the American Hospital Association (AHA) who was leading a conference call to encourage maternity hospitals to improve care said that 60 percent of the studied deaths from preeclampsia, a severe blood pressure disorder in pregnancy, also were preventable, “because we failed to control the blood pressure or to recognize other emergencies that were happening.”
Work with an experienced New Jersey medical negligence lawyer
There are few things more painful than discovering that your serious injury or your newborn’s birth injuries could have been prevented. A NJ medical malpractice lawyer from Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow is here to support you in holding the physician and hospital accountable for your injuries and other losses.
There is a reason the number of medical malpractice claims is dropping and part of that might be that people are not usually eager to sue their doctors. In some instances, you are placing your life in your doctor’s hands. This requires a lot of trust. You understand that doctors make mistakes just like everyone else, however, you have also felt the pain that their negligence caused. Maybe your child will suffer ongoing medical problems which will affect quality of life. Filing a medical malpractice claim is the way we pursue justice when someone else’s negligence caused you harm. At Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, our NJ medical malpractice lawyers are here to fight for your right to the compensation you deserve.
Handling complex claims of OB/GYN negligence throughout New Jersey
From offices in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, our NJ medical malpractice lawyers represent clients who have been injured because of a preventable medical error throughout New Jersey. You are welcome to contact our NJ medical mistake lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP to schedule a free consultation at 732-777-0100 or contact us to arrange a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey medical mistakes lawyer at an office nearest to you.