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Doctors have duty to monitor pregnant women for preeclampsia

Prenatal care for pregnant women in Texas includes regular blood pressure monitoring. Persistently elevated blood pressure, as indicated by two readings above 140/90 taken at least four hours apart, is a warning sign for preeclampsia. This condition could result in serious complications, including maternal death and birth injuries. Doctors who fail to notice the warning signs of preeclampsia and do not follow up with appropriate monitoring and care could face claims of negligence from the victims.

Preeclampsia strikes pregnant woman. The symptoms include spiking blood pressure and excess protein in the urine. Seizures, organ failure, stroke or death could afflict the woman and sometimes the infant. Young women under age 20 and older women over age 40 face an elevated risk of the condition as do women experiencing their first pregnancy. People who already suffer from high blood pressure, migraines and diabetes are also more prone to preeclampsia. Obesity and multiple fetuses represent other risk factors.

No cure exists for preeclampsia, but giving birth alleviates the condition. Once a doctor detects a warning sign for preeclampsia, additional tests should be ordered to monitor the problem and guide treatment decisions. A woman who suffered complications due to a doctor's failure to diagnose the condition could potentially sue for damages.

Complications could also impact the infant and result in birth injuries or death. A person confronted by this situation may opt to consult an attorney. Medical cases face high standards when trying to prove negligence, and an attorney might evaluate the potential of the evidence for supporting a lawsuit. The opinion of an outside medical expert obtained by an attorney might contribute to building the case. An attorney could file court papers and manage pretrial negotiations for a settlement or present the case to a jury.

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