When women have high blood pressure while pregnant, they have a condition called preeclampsia. Preeclampsia in and of itself is not a serious problem. However, it is a precursor to eclampsia, which is in fact serious. Eclampsia is a disorder that can result in seizures, coma and even death. It’s not only a problem that affects the mother, it’s also an issue that can impact the unborn child.

How do you know if you have preeclampsia? There are different warning signs that include swelling of the hands and feet or high blood pressure. When a doctor recognizes the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia, measures will be taken promptly to make sure the condition does not result in eclampsia. If eclampsia occurs, there’s a good chance that healthcare professionals ignored warning signs that could have prevented the condition.

Pregnant women and their families rely on the knowledge and expertise of doctors, nurses, physician assistants and other healthcare professionals to ensure everything that needs to happen during a pregnancy does in fact occur. The primary purpose of receiving regular medical care while pregnant is to safeguard the health of the mother and the child. Fortunately, many healthcare professionals are adept at recognizing when problems exist and providing the necessary intervention to prevent severe complications.

The reality is that one in twenty pregnant women develop preeclampsia. Given the potential dangers, it’s important to immediately address any of the symptoms associated with the condition to make sure it doesn’t advance. When pregnant women have an increase in blood pressure, it’s imperative that their doctor address the problem right away. According to the Mayo Clinic, a highly regarded source in the medical community, blood pressure that’s higher than 140/90 is considered abnormal during pregnancy and must be lowered immediately.

There are clear symptoms that pregnant women should look for when assessing whether they have preeclampsia. Those symptoms include kidney problems, nausea with vomiting, severe headaches, shortness of breath, blurry vision, swelling of the hands and face (edema), less urine output, thrombocytopenia, pain below the rib cage and poor liver function, among other symptoms.

It’s believed that pregnant women over the age of 40 are at a greater risk of preeclampsia. Women that have dealt with preeclampsia during prior pregnancies are also at an increased risk of the condition. Other factors that can increase the chances of preeclampsia are smoking, lupus, diabetes and obesity. Women that are expected to have more than one child, such as twins or triplets, are also a greater risk of preeclampsia.

The reason why eclampsia is such a dire diagnosis is because it places women at a much higher risk of more severe issues, such as not having enough blood flowing to the unborn child, which can cause many problems associated with oxygen deprivation. This type of issue can seriously impact the health of the child. Preeclampsia also places women at risk of developing diseases that affect the blood vessels and heart.

When it comes to treating preeclampsia, most doctors recommend bed rest, blood pressure medication and a reduction in most activities until the baby is born. It’s one of the main reason why bed rest becomes mandatory for some pregnant women during the final weeks and days of pregnancy. There are some instances when the condition is so severe and risk is so high that a C-section is performed to protect both the child and the mother.

Some medical experts believe women that have experienced preeclampsia for a long period of time are more likely to deliver a child with cerebral palsy. There are also opinions in the medical community regarding the delivery of babies between 32 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. Some believe delivery during this timeframe is more likely to result in a subsequent diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

There are many reasons to deal with preeclampsia before it advances. One is because it could lead to the mother having seizures during pregnancy. This will generally happen when preeclampsia has turned into eclampsia. By this stage, there is a chance that many other life-threatening complications will occur. To mitigate the issue and prevent a potentially devastating outcome, there are some healthcare professionals that will prescribe vitamins, low-dose aspirin, or calcium supplements.

These are just some of the reasons why prenatal care is so important. The good news is that preeclampsia is something that can be effectively managed or resolved. Healthcare professionals should check the mother’s blood pressure throughout the pregnancy and promptly address any issues.

Zayed Law Offices provides trusted support to families that have experienced negligence by healthcare professionals. If you need to speak with someone about a failure to diagnose preeclampsia or a wrongful death, contact Zayed Law Offices. They are committed to providing quality client service and obtaining the best possible outcome.