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Eclampsia Birth Injuries
Eclampsia is a life threatening consequence of elevated blood pressure during pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia is the initial stage of eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is defined by an elevated blood pressure, >140/90, with proteinuria. Proteinuria occurs when the kidneys excrete protein into the urine. Generally, pre-eclampsia may not result in any symptoms for the patient or baby. Eclampsia occurs when the patient with pre-eclampsia has seizures.
Pre-eclampsia is diagnosed after 20 weeks gestation. A patient with hypertension, or high blood pressure, prior to pregnancy can develop pre-eclampsia during pregnancy if the kidneys become damaged and excrete protein into the urine. The baby may develop encephalopathy, growth retardation or be born prematurely due to pre-eclampsia.
Eclampsia occurs in about 1 out of every 200 pre-eclamptic patients that are not treated with magnesium and go on to experience seizures.
The prevention of eclampsia with early delivery is the only true means of preventing seizure activity. Warning signs of the development of eclampsia or a seizure are headache, nausea, vomiting and vision changes. The difficulty here is that these symptoms can occur throughout the pregnancy and may not portend a possible seizure.
When eclampsia does occur, the consequences can be dramatic. The most dramatic is fetal death. If you were diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, develop new headaches or vision changes, were not treated with magnesium, and the baby experiences morbidity or death, you may be able to take legal action against the physician and or hospital for their lack of treatment.