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Pre-Eclampsia Compensation Claims

Pre-Eclampsia is a medical condition that some women suffer from during their pregnancy, usually in the final four months of carrying the baby. The condition is caused by a non-developing placenta which leads to high blood pressure and red blood cell complications. If medical professionals do not recognise the symptoms of Pre-Eclampsia promptly, injuries can be caused to the baby and mother, and as such, if you suffer from late or misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

Pre-Eclampsia Symptoms

Pre-Eclampsia is not a rare birth complication but in some instances, the symptoms of the condition can be difficult to recognise, and some mothers are completely unaware that there are any problems with their pregnancy. It is therefore vital that medical professionals monitor pregnant women closely, with a particular emphasis on blood pressure, to ensure that they diagnose the condition as quickly as possible where it occurs.

There are a number of symptoms that medical staff will look out for during their checks of pregnant women. Some of the most common signs of Pre-Eclampsia include:

  • Swollen hands and face
  • Higher levels of protein in the urine
  • Liver function below expected levels
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feelings of nausea and ongoing vomiting
  • Unbearable headaches
  • Pain in the abdomen and below the ribs
  • Vision problems
  • High Blood Pressure

One of the most obvious symptoms of Pre-Eclampsia is hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure. Medical professionals will be alerted by readings of 140/90 mm Hg (millimetres of mercury) or above on more than two occasions but at least four hours apart. Increases in blood pressure may develop slowly, but in the majority of cases, there will be a sudden increase. For this reason, you are encouraged to have regular checks and have any blood pressure concerns monitored often.

It is important to note that some cases of high blood pressure in pregnancy are normal and are no need for alarm. Medical staff will be able to reassure you regarding the normality of levels and the potential to treat any conditions swiftly.

Blood pressure readings are required as part of the normal medical checks that are carried out on pregnant women, and the midwife holds the responsibility for ensuring that readings are completed and recording. If any reading is taken that is higher than normal, you will be notified by the midwife. In these cases, you will be referred for tests at a hospital to determine whether there is an area for concern. Depending upon the findings of tests carried out, treatment or closer assessment may be required.

Complications and Risks of Pre-Eclampsia

Both the baby and the mother are at risk of an injury when Pre-Eclampsia occurs, and so it is imperative that diagnosis is made quickly. Some of the serious health complications that are associated with pre-Eclampsia include:

  • Placental Abruption – The lining of the placenta separates from the uterus before the child is delivered.
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Hemolysis elevated liver enzymes (HELLP) syndrome. This life-threatening condition is related to pregnancy and must be diagnosed without hesitation to maximise the potential of a positive prognosis.
  • Oxygen deprivation to the child

Causes of Pre-Eclampsia

Although Pre-Eclampsia can occur in any pregnant mother, there are some factors which increase the likelihood of the condition developing. They include:

  • The age of the mother. There is an increased risk of the condition in mothers above the age of 40.
  • A history of Pre-Eclampsia in previous pregnancies
  • Carrying more than one child
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity of the mother
  • If the pregnancy is with a different partner than any previous pregnancies
  • Smoking

Treatment for Pre-Eclampsia

Unfortunately, there is no current cure for Pre-Eclampsia, other than the delivery of the child. The condition is usually treated with bed-rest or at the very least, minimal strenuous activity on your part. Doctors may also choose to prescribe medications such as anticonvulsants, corticosteroids and antihypertensive.

If the condition is particularly severe, a caesarian section may be arranged in order to minimise the ongoing risk to you and your child.

Potential Impact on the infant

There is an increased risk of a diagnosis of cerebral palsy with infants who are affected by pre-Eclampsia during the pregnancy. There are also other potential problems that could be faced by the child including:

  • A slower rate of growth in the womb
  • Early delivery complications. Premature babies are often weaker, sometimes less developed and have less ability to combat infections following birth.
  • Pre-Eclampsia can even be fatal with an estimated 1,000 babies dying each year because of the condition.

Pre-Eclampsia Compensation Claims

It can be difficult to bring about a compensation claim against doctors following a Pre-Eclampsia misdiagnosis or injury. You will need to demonstrate:

  • Failure to recognise symptoms and diagnose Pre-Eclampsia
  • Late diagnosis of the condition
  • Ineffective advice and treatment being offered
  • Failure to deliver the baby promptly and safely

Compensation may be available if you have suffered injuries or losses, both physical, emotional and financial because of errors on the part of a medical professional. Our experienced medical negligence solicitors will support you in obtaining the relevant evidence and presenting it to secure the highest settlement possible.

You are encouraged to begin your case as early as possible to ensure that you do not miss time limits and to maximise the availability of evidence.

Find out if you have a valid Pre-Eclampsia claim

To find out if you have a valid claim for medical negligence compensation, contact our team of solicitors today for a free case assessment. This service is provided completely free of charge and without any obligation to proceed.