Eclampsia is rare, but is a very serious complication of preeclampsia, which may occur during pregnancy. It is marked by seizures that occur during pregnancy and which aren’t related to an existing brain problem.
It is important pregnant women know the warning signs so they can seek appropriate treatment. A Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer may help Ohio families whose doctor failed to properly address the condition or any childbirth complications of the mother or child.
Causes and Symptoms of Eclampsia
It is not easy to determine who will and who will not develop this condition because the root causes are not fully understood.
It is believed, however, that certain factors may contribute such as:
- neurological factors; and
- problems with blood vessels.
In addition, the following women are known to have been at higher risk in the past those:
- carrying multiple babies;
- aged 35 or older;
- in their teen years;
- who are African-American;
- who have a history of diabetes;
- who have a history of kidney problems; and/or
- who have high blood pressure.
In addition to seizures that characterize eclampsia, symptoms may include agitation or unconsciousness.
Women should seek immediate medical care if they notice:
- bright red blood from the vaginal area;
- severe headache;
- abdominal pain;
- vision loss;
- vomiting; or
- that the baby is not moving.
Women should also be aware of symptoms of preeclampsia, of which eclampsia may be a serious complication.
Women with preeclampsia may have:
- high blood pressure;
- vision problems;
- hand/face swelling; and
- other symptoms that should be discussed with a doctor.
In some cases, the placenta may separate or the child may be born prematurely, which can put the child at risk for compilations. This is why it’s so important that these conditions and any childbirth complications of the mother are properly addressed. If they are not, a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer can review an Ohio family’s case with an expert to determine if proper care was given.
Treatment for Eclampsia
For best results, treatment should be started while the woman is in the mild stages of preeclampsia. Once the woman’s condition advances to eclampsia, complications are more likely to occur. Anti-seizure medication, such as magnesium sulfate, may be given to those who suffer from seizures. Steroids may be given if the fetus is fewer than 32 weeks old. Those with high blood pressure may be given appropriate medication as well.
To prevent eclampsia, some women with severe preeclampsia may be advised to deliver the child; still, the goal is to keep the baby in the womb for as close to 40 weeks as possible. This may reduce the risk of complications caused by premature delivery. The baby may be delivered at around 32 weeks if the condition is severe. For milder cases, delivery at 36-37 weeks may ideal.
Many women who experience eclampsia have a good prognosis, while some may have elevated blood pressure after delivery. The babies often also fare well. If born prematurely, they will likely need to stay in the hospital for monitoring.
Although many babies and their mothers live fairly normal lives after eclampsia, some mothers and babies experience serious complications. Many complications present in the babies are attributed to premature birth. A condition called HELLP, which negatively affects liver function and causes anemia and low platelet counts, may cause complications and could increase risk of maternal death.
Contacting a Cleveland Medical Malpractice Lawyer for an Ohio Case
Failure to diagnose this condition or failure to provide proper treatment can result in liability issues for medical providers. Mellino Robenalt LLC can help clients who have suffered injury as a result of negligence related to childbirth complications for the mother or child. Victims and their families can set up a consultation in Cleveland with a medical malpractice lawyer in Ohio to review the details of their case related to diagnostic failure or poor handling of eclampsia or preeclampsia that causes childbirth complications for the mother or child.