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Preeclampsia is a dangerous pregnancy complication where the mother has high blood pressure and there are signs of damage to another organ system. Usually, it’s the kidneys or the liver. This condition typically shows up after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Eclampsia, also called uncontrolled preeclampsia, is a rare but very serious complication of preeclampsia. It’s when a mother has high blood pressure and has seizures during her pregnancy. About one in every 200 women with preeclampsia will develop eclampsia. Even if a mother hasn’t had seizures in the past, then she could experience eclampsia.
Preeclampsia and eclampsia will affect the placenta. When high blood pressure decreases blood flow through the vessels, then the placenta may fail to function correctly. This could lead to many different health issues in a baby. In rare cases, it can even lead to a stillbirth. A doctor will diagnose a woman with preeclampsia or eclampsia by ordering urine tests, a creatinine test, and blood tests, to get a complete blood count and a platelet count to determine how well the blood is clotting. These blood tests can also show how well a mother’s liver and kidneys are functioning.
Symptoms of Eclampsia
The symptoms of preeclampsia include nausea, vomiting, elevated blood pressure, swelling in the hands and face, abdominal pain, specifically in the right upper abdomen, vision issues like blurry vision or loss of vision, trouble urinating, excessive weight gain, and headaches. A mother may have preeclampsia symptoms prior to experiencing eclampsia, or it’s possible she may have no symptoms at all. Symptoms of eclampsia include loss of consciousness, seizures, and agitation.
If a baby is born to a mother with preeclampsia or eclampsia, then they could experience a number of different health issues. They include epilepsy, learning disabilities, vision impairments, brain damage, cerebral palsy, premature birth, small birth size, and hearing impairments and deafness. The symptoms of these conditions will vary. For example, if a child has cerebral palsy, they may have difficulty walking, suffer from a speech disorder, have trouble swallowing, have issues with coordination, and have stiff muscles.
Treatment for Eclampsia
Delivering a baby early is typically the treatment for preeclampsia and eclampsia. If a mother has mild preeclampsia, a doctor may be able to give her medications and monitor her health to put off delivery, but if she has severe preeclampsia or eclampsia, then delivery will likely be necessary. A mother might need to take anticonvulsants to combat the seizures and blood pressure medication to lower her blood pressure. Steroids could be prescribed to a mother to help her baby’s lungs mature before delivery.
If a baby develops a health condition because of preeclampsia or eclampsia, then treatment is going to depend on that condition. For example, if a child has brain damage, they may need to undergo a process called brain cooling to minimize the damage. If they have cerebral palsy, they might need to go through surgery, take anticonvulsants, and attend ongoing physical therapy appointments to improve outcomes. Treatment for a condition caused by preeclampsia or eclampsia could be temporary or last throughout a child’s life.
How Do I Know if Medical Malpractice Caused Eclampsia?
It’s difficult to determine if medical malpractice, or a doctor’s negligence, caused preeclampsia or eclampsia. Sometimes, a mother will develop one of these conditions because she has health issues. Medical malpractice could occur when the doctor decides how to treat it – or not treat it. For example, they might have delayed labor unnecessarily or not prescribed a mother the medication she needed to lower her blood pressure.
The only way to know if medical malpractice possibly occurred is to get in touch with an experienced birth injury lawyer. They will assess the details of your case and determine if they believe negligence happened.
Keep in mind that it’s very tough to prove negligence in a court of law. This is because if it were easy to sue doctors, anyone could do it, and nobody would want to become a doctor. The bar is set very high, so you’ll need the right proof and representation on your side to show that negligence did actually occur.
How Much Will I Receive From an Eclampsia Settlement?
When you reach out to a birth injury lawyer, they won’t be able to tell you exactly how much your settlement could end up being. However, they will be able to calculate your non-economic and economic damages like:
- Medical bills
- Loss of companionship and enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Future medical care
- Loss of earning capacity
The higher your damages, the higher your settlement could end up being. For example, if your baby developed brain damage and will not be able to function like other people for the rest of their life, then the settlement could be higher since your medical bills and other expenses will be costly.
Settlement Offers in an Eclampsia Case
Your birth injury lawyer will work hard to secure a suitable settlement for you. The way the process works is they will collect the evidence you provide to them, like medical records, photographs of your baby’s injuries, and witness statements, and then present this evidence to the defendant, your doctor, to work out a settlement.
Your doctor may fight back against the charges and you might have to take them to court. Typically, however, if you have a strong enough case, the defendant will settle because court is time-consuming and embarrassing. It usually makes more sense to settle.
Why Contact a Birth Injury Lawyer?
When you were pregnant, all you could think about was how happy you were to meet the newest member of your family. Now, you’ll forever remember the day of your child’s birth as a traumatic one. Though you don’t want to get involved in a lawsuit, you also can’t pay for all your damages. You also don’t think your doctor should get away with what they did. Your birth injury lawyer will handle your case so you can focus on caring for your child and your family at this time. You won’t have to worry anymore.
Eclampsia Birth Injury Attorneys
If your baby experienced a birth injury from eclampsia and you believe that medical malpractice is to blame, then get in touch with birth injury lawyers Gilman & Bedigian. They will fight on your behalf so you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact Gilman & Bedigian 24/7 for a free consultation at (800) 529-6162.