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How Preeclampsia Can Cause Birth-Related Brain Injuries in Infants

June 23, 2021  ·  By HM&M

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While all births are special, they are usually physically and emotionally intense. Some are even traumatic—for both the mother and child.

Although most births occur with few to no complications, some issues—like preeclampsia—can impart serious conditions to the child. The resulting complications from preeclampsia can include brain-related injuries.

What is Preeclampsia?

The first thing to know about preeclampsia is that it can be difficult to detect, making it one of the more dangerous pregnancy complications for both the mother and child. High blood pressure is the most common symptom, which is not uncommon for even the healthiest of expectant mothers.

Other complications can occur in the mother’s kidneys and other organs with onset beginning around the twentieth week of pregnancy. While the majority of women who suffer preeclampsia complications fully recover, some women have lasting complications from preeclampsia. If preeclampsia goes undiagnosed and these symptoms lead to other complications or cause lasting damage, the mother may be able to file a lawsuit against the medical care provider.

However, preeclampsia complications are not limited to the mother. In some of the most unfortunate cases, the damage done to the mother results in significant injuries to the child, including brain-related injuries.  

How Does Preeclampsia Cause Brain-Related Injuries in Infants?

Preeclampsia may first impact the mother but, if misdiagnosed or undiagnosed, the complications will impact the child—at times permanently or fatally. Because the mother’s blood pressure is high, it changes the rate of blood flow to the baby. This high blood pressure intensifies blood vessels’ resistance, decreasing the blood flow to the fetus, significantly restricting oxygen levels and essential nutrients.

Without proper nutrients and limited oxygen, the fetus often experiences birth asphyxia and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE. Many HIE-related complications are severe and permanent. HIE can result in life-altering injuries including:

  • Brain damage
  • Delayed development and growth
  • Seizures
  • Impaired motor function and paralysis
  • Audial and visual complications

Doctors who treat children who have experienced HIE often label the child as having cerebral palsy.”

Because these complications are so severe, it’s imperative that obstetricians, labor and delivery nurses and hospital health care providers identify and address preeclampsia in a pregnant woman as soon as possible. The treatment for preeclampsia–especially if the mother is at 36 weeks or greater in the pregnancy and she is suffering acute symptoms such as headache, high blood pressure, protein in her urine or difficulty breathing—is immediate delivery of the baby. 

If missed, preeclampsia could lead to long-lasting, costly, and painful complications for both mother and child.

Is Filing a Preeclampsia Lawsuit for you?

If you suspect your child has a birth-related brain injury due to medical malpractice, you may have grounds for filing a preeclampsia lawsuit against your care provider. You have a right to pursue compensation for your child’s injuries.

However, we understand the emotional impact that comes with confronting medical malpractice that led to your child’s pain and complications. We’re here to help ensure that your case is constructed for the greatest chance of receiving compensation for your child’s injuries.

The first step is to contact a qualified legal team to discuss your case. Contact us today to take the first step in receiving the justice and compensation you deserve.

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