Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy that is marked by high blood pressure and signs of organ damage. It usually commences after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Even a slight elevation of blood pressure can be a sign of preeclampsia. If preeclampsia is not promptly and appropriately treated, it can result in catastrophic or fatal complications for a mother and her baby during the labor and delivery process. If you had preeclampsia that was not treated or not treated appropriately, you may have a basis to recover damages. Consult Knoxville birth injury attorney Mark Hartsoe to learn more about your situation.Holding a Health Care Provider Accountable for Negligence Involving Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia can develop even without symptoms. However, your health care providers should be monitoring your blood pressure so that they can detect this serious condition. High blood pressure can have a sudden onset or develop gradually. If preeclampsia is not treated, the result can be catastrophic birth injuries or death to the baby. The only way to relieve preeclampsia is to deliver the baby. However, the baby needs time to mature. Sometimes preeclampsia occurs too early in the pregnancy to deliver the baby.
Signs and symptoms of preeclampsia include serious headaches, abdominal pain, nausea, decreased urination, excess protein in the urine or other kidney problems, decreased platelet levels, sudden weight gain and swelling, impaired liver function, and short breath. However, sometimes there are no symptoms.
Why does preeclampsia develop? It is not known exactly why, but it may start in the placenta. Other high blood pressure disorders that can happen during a pregnancy are chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension, and chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia. Risk factors for preeclampsia are a family history of it, age, a first pregnancy, chronic hypertension, obesity, carrying multiples, intervals between pregnancies, a history of certain conditions, and in vitro fertilization.
Preeclampsia complications can include fetal growth restriction, preterm birth, placental abruption, eclampsia, HELPP syndrome, organ damage, and cardiovascular disease. These complications can require a mother to undergo induced labor and delivery. Delivery by C-section might be necessary to ensure a relatively quick delivery. Left untreated, preeclampsia can result in a baby being born with birth injuries such as birth asphyxia, HIE, developmental delays, and cerebral palsy.
If you suspect that your baby developed a birth injury such as cerebral palsy or died due to your health care provider's failure to treat preeclampsia, you may be able to recover damages by filing a birth injury lawsuit. To prove liability, we will need to show by a preponderance of the evidence that your health care providers owed your baby and you a professional standard of care, they deviated from the standard of care in connection with your preeclampsia, and the deviation led directly to your damages. For example, if a reasonable obstetrician would have delivered the baby at a particular point, but yours did not, and your baby developed cerebral palsy as a result, that may be actionable medical malpractice.
If you sue a health care provider in Tennessee, you will need to follow specific procedural rules from the inception of the case. Generally, we will need to file a certificate of good faith along with the complaint. The certificate will state that we consulted with one or more medical experts who have given a written statement confirming that they are competent and qualified to give an expert opinion under Tennessee law, and they think that there is a good-faith basis to sue for medical malpractice. Often, the expert in these types of cases will be a board-certified obstetrician who is qualified to give opinions about what the standard of care is when treating a mother and a fetus who have preeclampsia or who show signs of preeclampsia.Hire a Dedicated Knoxville Lawyer for Your Birth Injury Case
If your child suffered birth injuries due to untreated or improperly treated preeclampsia, you should consult an experienced attorney. Mark Hartsoe can advise you on whether it may be appropriate to sue for damages in a birth injury lawsuit. Call the Hartsoe Law Firm in Knoxville at 865-804-1011 or contact us through our online form. We also represent injured people in Clinton, Oak Ridge, Alcoa, Louisville, Maryville, LaFollette, Tazewell, Newport, Crossville, Jamestown, Rutledge, Greeneville, Morristown, Chattanooga, Dandridge, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Madisonville, Lenoir City, Loudon, Athens, and other areas of Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Cumberland, Fentress, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton, Jefferson, Knox, Monroe, Loudon, McMinn, and Bradley Counties.