Posted on 01/04/2022

What Happens When a Doctor Misdiagnosis Preeclampsia

What Happens When a Doctor Misdiagnosis Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a serious diagnosis for expecting mothers. 

If you or a loved one has experienced pain and suffering, or even death, due to a failed or misdiagnosis of preeclampsia, you may be eligible for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

We’re going to define what preeclampsia is, how it’s misdiagnosed and the unfortunate consequences of a misdiagnosis. 

Keep reading to learn how you can receive a free consultation with a trusting and compassionate medical malpractice attorney.

What is Preeclampsia? 

Preeclampsia is a blood pressure condition that affects pregnant women. This happens sometime around the 20th week into pregnancy and can only be cured through delivery.

There are two types of preeclampsia: mild and severe.

With mild preeclampsia, you may experience high blood pressure and high levels of protein in the urine.

If you are diagnosed with severe preeclampsia, then you will experience the same symptoms as mild preeclampsia, but you may also experience other serious health issues, such as fluid in your lungs, vision impairment, and other serious injuries.

Other injuries for expecting mothers and their babies that are associated with preeclampsia include:

  • Kidney damage 
  • Liver damage
  • Seizures or strokes
  • The possibility of the baby to delay, or fail, to develop properly 

What Causes Preeclampsia? 

Unfortunately, doctors do not know what causes preeclampsia. 

Some doctors believe that preeclampsia is due to improper functioning of the placenta. Preeclampsia is, however, pretty common, even more common in first-time mothers.

The following are factors associated with and put women at risk for preeclampsia:

  • Certain autoimmune diseases
  • Women carrying multiple babies
  • Having a family medical history of preeclampsia  
  • Obesity
  • Having a medical history of high blood pressure, kidney disease, or diabetes

Preeclampsia is typically discovered when you go for your routine prenatal appointments. The expectant mother’s blood pressure, weight, and urine should be checked at each appointment. 

If your medical provider suspects preeclampsia, there are additional tests to determine the diagnosis. 

Treatment for preeclampsia includes a lot of rest, many prenatal checkups, monitoring your blood pressure, and possibly making changes to your diet. 

If you have severe preeclampsia, your medical provider may give you blood pressure medication until you are far along enough into pregnancy to safely give labor. 

How is Preeclampsia Misdiagnosed?

Sometimes the symptoms of preeclampsia can be mistaken as common occurrences during pregnancy, such as weight gain, swelling, headaches, and shortness of breath. 

If you are diagnosed with preeclampsia, then you must be carefully monitored and treated.

If there is a delay in treatment, or if preeclampsia was misdiagnosed, then there can be detrimental health risks to the expecting mother and baby as they were not properly treated for preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia will lead to eclampsia if preeclampsia is misdiagnosed and not controlled properly. 

Eclampsia is a severe form of preeclampsia and is considered a pregnancy-related seizure. 

While the expecting mother is experiencing seizures, the oxygen supply to the baby is significantly reduced. Eclampsia can be life-threatening to both the mother and baby.

Another outcome of undiagnosed preeclampsia is the possibility of placenta abruption and detaching from the uterus. 

The placenta is essential for providing nutrients and oxygen to your baby. If the placenta separates from the uterus, there can be major bleeding and further potential health risks to the mother and baby.

Lastly, there’s a possibility the mother may develop HELLP Syndrome. HELLP Syndrome is a pregnancy complication affecting the expectant mother’s blood and liver. 

If a mother has any signs or symptoms of HELLP Syndrome, then her obstetrician will more than likely induce labor as soon as possible. The health risks for the mother and baby will worsen, and may even lead to death.

Who Can I Sue for My Misdiagnosed Preeclampsia? 

If you or a loved one has experienced an injury, or death due to the misdiagnosis or failed diagnosis of preeclampsia, speak with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as you’re ready.

You may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical providers providing your care. 

A medical malpractice attorney would have to prove that your medical provider acted with medical negligence or malpractice.

An example of medical negligence is when your medical provider diagnosed you with preeclampsia, but failed to provide you with the proper treatment. This could result in your sustaining an injury, or possible death, to either you or your baby.

A medical provider’s misdiagnosis or failure to treat you for preeclampsia, could result in serious and life-threatening health complications to you and your baby, also making it medical negligence.

What Should You Do Next?

Proving medical negligence is not an easy task but with the right medical malpractice team, you can get the compensation you and your loved ones deserve.

There’s a lot of information that your medical malpractice attorney needs to understand to give you their best legal advice. Before you reach out to someone, review tips on how to get the most out of your meeting. 

Grover Lewis Johnson will fight for you with compassion, empathy, and integrity every step of the way. 

We understand that if you’re reaching out to us about a medical malpractice lawsuit, you’re probably already paying loads of medical fees. 

Fill out our intake form and we’ll call you, no hassle. We’d love to review your case and help you determine if taking legal action is the right option for you. 

We won’t take your lawsuit to trial unless it would best suit you and we don’t expect a single payment from you until we’ve won your case.

Contact the medical malpractice team of Grover Lewis Johnson to learn who we are and what we do for our clients.

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