Failure to Diagnose Preeclampsia

Pregnancy should be a joyful time for parents. However, pregnancy can also bring uncertainty and worry. What if medical issues arise? Pregnant mothers rely on their doctors to properly diagnose and treat any medical conditions that arise during pregnancy. Unfortunately, some doctors are negligent and don’t properly diagnose their patients. When a doctor misses an important medical condition such as preeclampsia, the results can be devastating.


What is Preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a medical condition that occurs during pregnancy that is characterized by high blood pressure and signs of organ damage. It usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women who had normal blood pressure. Symptoms of preeclampsia include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Excess protein in the urine
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Visual disturbances

Doctors should be cognizant of the symptoms of preeclampsia and take appropriate action. Doctors should also closely monitor patients who have risk factors for preeclampsia. These risk factors include:

  • Previous history of preeclampsia
  • Multiple gestation
  • History of chronic high blood pressure
  • First pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Mother is over 35 or under 20 years old
  • Family history of preeclampsia

Once a doctor diagnoses preeclampsia, then they may have to induce labor to protect the baby and the mother. If it is early in the pregnancy, then hospital bed rest and steps to control blood pressure should be taken.


What Happens if Preeclampsia is Not Diagnosed?

When preeclampsia goes undiagnosed, then eclampsia can occur. Eclampsia is a very serious condition that can lead to seizures in the mother and even death. Preeclampsia can also result in premature birth and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). IUGR occurs when there is reduced blood flow to the mother’s placenta, which restricts the supply of food to the baby. This can result in the baby being malnourished. The condition can also result in an infant’s death.


Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

If you or someone you love has been injured due to a failure to diagnose, you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have been helping the victims of medical negligence for over 50 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.