There are several medical conditions that women potentially develop when they are pregnant, which may raise the level of risk for birth injuries and other serious health complications for the baby and the mother. One of these conditions is known as preeclampsia, which causes the pregnant woman to develop abnormally high blood pressure. It is very important that prenatal care includes the prompt diagnosis and treatment of preeclampsia to prevent serious birth injuries for the baby and harm to the mother’s health.
What is Preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia is a medical condition that can occur about midway through one’s pregnancy, typically after 20 weeks. Those with preeclampsia experience high blood pressure, protein in their urine, swelling, headaches and blurred vision. This condition needs immediate attention and treatment. Preeclampsia usually goes away after the baby is delivered. Here are some of the risk factors for preeclampsia:
• When the pregnant person is over the age of 35
• Having a BMI of over 30
• When there is a gap of 10 years or more between pregnancies
• When the pregnancy involves twins or triplets
• When the pregnant person has a history of preeclampsia
• There is a family history of preeclampsia
• History or high blood pressure or diabetes
• Autoimmune conditions such as lupus
How is Preeclampsia Managed?
If you are pregnant, your medical provider should perform routine urine tests and blood pressure checks as part of your prenatal care in addition to other tests to check liver and kidney functions and exams to make sure that the baby is getting adequate oxygen and vital nutrients. These types of tests should help diagnose preeclampsia. Treatment to manage preeclampsia involves easing symptoms until the baby is delivered.
If you are close to term (37 or more weeks), your baby may be delivered early. In such cases, a cesarean section may be the best option and necessary. Your doctor may give you medication to help the fetus’s lungs develop and manage your blood pressure until the baby can be safely delivered. Close monitoring is critical when preeclampsia is involved in order to prolong the pregnancy and allow the fetus to grow and develop. If your condition worsens or becomes more severe, your baby may need to be delivered.
Risk for Birth Injuries
Here are some of the types of birth injuries that babies may suffer if the mother’s preeclampsia goes untreated and the child does not get oxygen and nutrients:
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE): This is a type of brain dysfunction that occurs when the brain experiences a decrease in oxygen or blood flow. Children who experience HIE may suffer long-term consequences such as cerebral palsy or epilepsy.
Brain damage: The amount of time the brain spends without oxygen or blood flow may have an impact on how severely the brain is damaged. The effects of brain damage during birth may become more noticeable as the child develops.
Cerebral palsy: This refers to a group of disorders that affect movement and muscle tone or posture. It’s caused by damage that occurs to the immature developing brain, most often before birth. Cerebral palsy causes impaired muscle movement associated with reflex, spasticity of the limbs and trunk, unusual posture, involuntary movements, unsteady walking or a combination of these symptoms.
Medical Negligence (Carelessness) and Compensation
As New York personal injury lawyers, we have seen many instances of cerebral palsy that occur due to medical negligence (carelessness) during labor and delivery. It is the responsibility of medical professionals to monitor the condition of the fetus and the mother and make decisions that help reduce or eliminate a risky delivery. If your child has suffered a birth injury due to untreated preeclampsia, he or she may be able to receive compensation that helps pay for medical expenses, lost income, cost of therapy, future treatments, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.
The experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. One of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
We have seen many cases where New York City Health and Hospital Corporation facilities deliver babies who are born with cerebral palsy or brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) stemming from negligence (carelessness), and/or medical malpractice in the labor and delivery etc. of the children.
The following list identifies some of these hospitals (operated by New York City Health and Hospital Corporation):
• Jacobi Hospital aka Bronx Municipal 1400 Pelham Parkway South Bronx, New York 10461 718-918-5000
• Lincoln Hospital 234 East 149th Street Bronx, New York 10451 718-579-5000
• North Central Bronx Hospital 3424 Kossuth Avenue Bronx, New York 10467 718-519-5000
• Coney Island Hospital 2601 Ocean Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11235 718-616-3000
• Kings County Hospital 451 Clarkson Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11203 718-245-3131
• Woodhull Hospital 760 Broadway Brooklyn, New York 11206 718-963-8000
• Bellevue Hospital 462 First Avenue New York, New York 10016 212-562-5555
• Harlem Hospital 506 Lenox Avenue New York, New York 10037 212-939-1000
• Metropolitan Hospital 1901 First Avenue New York, New York 10029 212-423-6262
• Elmhurst Hospital 79-01 Broadway Elmhurst, New York 11373 718-334-4000
• Queens Hospital Center 82-68 164th Street Jamaica, New York 11432 718-883-3000
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury, lead poisoning and medical malpractice cases including, brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) and cerebral palsy cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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