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What to do when doctors fail to diagnose preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder that expectant mothers can develop. Besides seeing a rise in blood pressure, mothers may damage their liver, kidneys or other organs, suffer seizure or stroke, and even die. Doctors can diagnose the condition and monitor throughout the pregnancy cycle, but there have been cases in Texas and elsewhere in which doctors failed to diagnose it. Such cases may lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Hypertensive disorders are one of the leading causes of maternal and infant illness and death in the whole world. Preeclampsia can develop most especially in women who are under 20 or over 40 at the time of pregnancy, women with twins or triplets, and women going through their first pregnancy. Obesity, a family history of preeclampsia and a history of chronic high blood pressure and other conditions can raise the risk for it.

During prenatal appointments, doctors can perform blood pressure checks to look for preeclampsia. If doctors take two blood pressure readings four hours apart and both are higher than 140/90, then they can order blood, urine or ultrasound tests for a more accurate diagnosis. If they fail to diagnose it, they may be held liable. In cases of injury, they could face a malpractice claim; in cases of death, they could face a wrongful death lawsuit.

Before pursuing birth injury cases, families may want to consult with a malpractice attorney. Such attorneys may have a network of third parties like medical experts and investigators to help build the case up with evidence against the doctor. Once it is made clear that the doctor did not live up to the generally accepted standards of care, the attorney may be able to negotiate for a settlement covering economic and non-economic damages like medical costs and emotional trauma.

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