Mismanagement of Hypertension During Pregnancy, Labor, and Delivery
Being pregnant can be as difficult as it is exciting. There are lots of aspects of life to take care of before the arrival of your newest family member. Perhaps the baby’s room still needs work, or the stroller hasn’t shipped out yet. All of these worries on top of your other everyday tasks and errands makes it even more stressful when you also feel like you have to worry about what your body is doing and what it’s supposed to be doing when bringing a baby into the world. That’s why regular checkups from your healthcare provider are necessary and helpful. They are in charge of ensuring that your pregnancy is proceeding as it should.
One of the health issues to look out for especially when pregnant is hypertension. Commonly known as high blood pressure, hypertension is a leading cause of maternal mortality and morbidity during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. If blood pressure is not regularly monitored and treated during pregnancy, it can lead to serious complications for both the mother and the baby. This is why it is crucial for healthcare providers to effectively manage hypertension in pregnant women to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery. It is important to know that if you or your infant suffered from complications from hypertension during pregnancy, you should speak to a Kentucky birth injury lawyer.
Complications of mismanaged hypertension
When the doctor does not monitor or treat hypertension during pregnancy, labor, and/or delivery, it can lead to serious complications for both the mother and the baby. Some of the most common complications include:
- Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a serious pregnancy complication that can cause high blood pressure, kidney damage, and other organ damage. Preeclampsia can be life-threatening for both the mother and the baby.
- Placental abruption: Placental abruption occurs when the placenta separates from the uterine wall before delivery. Placental abruption can cause heavy bleeding and can fatally endanger the mother and infant.
- Premature birth: High blood pressure during pregnancy can cause premature birth, which can lead to a host of health problems for the baby including brain, breathing, and heart problems.
- Intrauterine growth restriction: High blood pressure during pregnancy can also cause intrauterine growth restriction, which can lead to serious health problems for the baby such as low birth weight, breathing and eating problems, and neurodevelopmental handicaps.
How can medical malpractice lead to hypertension and further complications?
The mismanagement of hypertension during pregnancy, labor, and delivery can result in injuries for the mother and baby, and that means the healthcare providers who were in charge of your pregnancy and delivery could and should face significant legal repercussions. If a healthcare provider fails to diagnose or properly manage hypertension in a pregnant patient, and the patient or the baby suffers harm as a result, the healthcare provider may be held legally responsible for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide care that meets the standard of care for the particular medical condition.
In the case of hypertension during pregnancy, your medical team is expected to monitor your blood pressure regularly and take appropriate action if it rises above a certain level. If a healthcare provider fails to monitor your blood pressure or fails to take appropriate action when your blood pressure rises, the healthcare provider may be held liable for medical malpractice should you or your baby suffer injuries due to their neglect.
What should be done to avoid complications?
If you are pregnant, you may be wondering what exactly your doctor, midwife, or other medical professional should be doing in order to ensure that your blood pressure does not rise too high, or how they should be treating any current hypertension. It is best to ask your doctor about it, repeatedly if necessary. Your healthcare provider should be monitoring your pregnancy, and keeping you updated on anything out of the ordinary. Some actions your healthcare provider should be taking include:
- Regular blood pressure monitoring: The obstetric team should regularly monitor a pregnant patient’s blood pressure to detect any changes in blood pressure that may indicate hypertension.
- Early intervention: If a healthcare provider detects hypertension in a pregnant patient, they should take appropriate action to manage the hypertension and prevent further complications.
- Referral to a specialist: If a pregnant patient has severe hypertension or preeclampsia, the doctor should refer the patient to a specialist for further evaluation and management.
- Informed consent: Healthcare providers should obtain informed consent from pregnant patients before initiating any treatment for hypertension.
- Documenting care: Healthcare providers should thoroughly document all care provided to pregnant patients, including blood pressure readings, interventions, referrals, and informed consent.
As the patient, a pregnant parent-to-be should not have to worry about all these little, yet very important, details. In a perfect world, your health and the health of your baby during pregnancy should be expertly seen to, with any signs of hypertension being monitored and regulated. Unfortunately, medical professionals are as human as any of us, and sometimes they make mistakes.
Hypertension during pregnancy, labor, and delivery can have serious consequences for both the mother and the baby. Healthcare providers have a legal obligation to effectively monitor, diagnose, and treat their pregnant patients.
If you believe you have suffered harm from a misdiagnosis or mismanagement contact Wilt & Associates, PLLC today. We specialize in medical malpractice lawsuits including birth injury cases, and have secured millions in settlements for our clients. Birth injuries and injuries sustained during pregnancy or labor can lead to a lifetime of financial burdens; you shouldn’t have to worry about those costs, especially when you’re trying to raise a newborn and trying to heal. Let us help. To schedule a free consultation, please call us or fill out our contact form. We maintain offices in Lexington and Louisville, and proudly serve clients throughout Kentucky.