Failure to Diagnose Preeclampsia

Failure to Diagnose Preeclampsia

Having a baby is one of the most exciting experiences for expectant parents. However, pregnancy also can come with complications. When certain types of pregnancy-related conditions are not properly diagnosed, pregnant mothers and their infants can suffer serious injuries or death. One of these types of serious conditions is preeclampsia, which is a pregnancy-related condition in which the mother’s blood pressure can rapidly rise. The mother might also have protein in her urine, and the mother can experience strokes, seizures, multiple organ failures. Undiagnosed preeclampsia that is not properly treated can result in the death of the mother and her unborn baby, or it can also cause birth injuries.

Unfortunately, preeclampsia cannot be cured other than through delivering the baby. However, doctors can perform tests to diagnose preeclampsia so that it can be properly monitored. There are some situations in which doctors fail to diagnose this condition. When a woman or an unborn infant is seriously injured or dies because of undiagnosed preeclampsia, the failure to diagnose may form a viable medical malpractice claim. A birth trauma attorney at Raynes & Lawn can review your case and help you understand the rights that you might have.

Understanding Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder that can occur during pregnancy. It is a leading cause of injuries and death of mothers and infants around the world. Typically, preeclampsia is diagnosed when mothers have their blood pressure checked during prenatal doctors’ appointments with their obstetricians. When a woman has two readings of more than 140/90 four or more hours apart, the high blood pressure readings could indicate the woman might have preeclampsia. When this occurs, the doctor should closely monitor the expectant mother and order tests to diagnose the condition. Doctors can perform urine, blood, and ultrasound tests to diagnose preeclampsia.

When a doctor fails to diagnose preeclampsia or properly treat it, the mother and her unborn infant can suffer serious complications and potential death. If that occurs, the doctor might be liable for medical malpractice.

Preeclampsia Risk Factors

Some women have a higher risk of developing preeclampsia, including the following:

  • Women who are under age 20 or over age 40 when they are pregnant
  • Women who are experiencing their first pregnancies
  • Women who are carrying multiple fetuses
  • Women with pre-existing hypertension, diabetes, migraines, kidney disease, lupus, or clotting disorders
  • Women with a family history of preeclampsia
  • Women who are obese

When Failing to Diagnose Preeclampsia Might be Malpractice

When a doctor fails to recognize the symptoms of preeclampsia and diagnose the condition so it can be properly managed, it could be considered to be medical negligence. If the doctor’s diagnostic failure subsequently causes the baby to be injured, the baby’s parents might have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor by working with a child injury lawyer at Raynes & lawn. Similarly, if the mother is seriously injured or dies, a birth trauma attorney can file a lawsuit to hold the doctor liable for his or her negligence. In these types of cases, it is best to work with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to increase the chances of prevailing.

If your doctor failed to diagnose you with preeclampsia, and you or your baby were injured, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit. You will have the burden of proof to prove the elements of medical malpractice against the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence. The elements that you will be required to prove include the following:

  • You had established a doctor-patient relationship with the defendant.
  • The doctor’s treatment fell below the expected standard of care because of the failure to diagnose preeclampsia.
  • The doctor’s failure to diagnose you with preeclampsia caused your injuries or your infant’s injuries.
  • You suffered calculable losses as a result.

An experienced attorney can help you gather the evidence you will need to prove each of these elements and will work with a medical expert to support your claim.

Talk to an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Philadelphia

If a doctor failed to diagnose you or your loved one with preeclampsia, resulting in serious injuries or death, you might have a valid basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit. The malpractice attorneys at Raynes & Lawn can review your medical records and help you understand the merits of your claim. To learn more, schedule a free consultation today by calling us at 1-800-535-1797.

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