While many Arizona women experience a normal pregnancy with no major complications, others may experience dangerous or even life-threatening complications that could have an impact on both the mother and baby. One of these conditions is preeclampsia, which affects the mother's blood pressure and increases protein in her urine.
Preeclampsia and other similar disorders that result in increased blood pressure are a leading cause of both material and infant death all over the world. It can arise after the 20th week of pregnancy. If it is not diagnosed in a timely manner, the mother could suffer a seizure, multiple organ failure or a stroke, all of which could potentially result in death. The condition is generally diagnosed by blood pressure checks during prenatal appointments. If a mother has two blood pressure readings that are higher than 140/90 at least four hours apart, the mother should be monitored for preeclampsia. Blood, urine or ultrasound tests can be conducted for a more accurate assessment as well.
There are several risk factors for this condition. If the mother is going through her first pregnancy, is younger than 20 or older than 40, or there are multiple fetuses, the mother may have an increased risk. Obesity and a family history of preeclampisa or a history of chronic high blood pressure are also risk factors.
Failing to diagnose preeclampsia is considered to be negligence. If a healthcare professional or doctor fails to properly test for preeclampsia and life-altering complications occur, the mother or the mother's family may have the grounds to file a medical malpractice claim. During a birth injury case, an attorney may provide evidence demonstrating that the mother was suffering symptoms known to be associated with the condition. Depending on the complications that were suffered, the attorney may help the family seek compensation for medical costs and punitive damages.