The birth of a child is a wonderful experience for most parents, but it comes with significant risks and dangers to mothers. Maternal mortality in the United States is significantly higher than other developed nations with comparable health systems, and neglectful or careless acts on the part of healthcare providers can seriously endanger the health and even the life of a mother before, during, and after childbirth.
One rare but potentially lethal risk to Illinois mothers during childbirth is that of an amniotic fluid embolism. An amniotic fluid embolism occurs when the amniotic fluid surrounding a baby in the mother’s uterus gets into the mother’s bloodstream. It can be difficult to know whether an amniotic fluid embolism has occurred and doctors must be on the alert for signs of a potential embolism so treatment can be secured immediately. If a doctor misses obvious signs of an amniotic fluid embolism or fails to order effective treatment, the mother can suffer serious health complications, including death. If your wife or partner was injured or died from this condition, you may want to meet with an experienced Illinois maternal mortality lawyer.
How Does an Amniotic Fluid Embolism Happen?
When trauma during childbirth causes the barrier between the placenta and the mother’s body to break down, amniotic fluid or other fetal material can get into the mother’s bloodstream. The mother’s body then responds by producing an extreme inflammatory response, which can create blood clots in the mother’s blood vessels. If these blood clots reach the lungs, heart, or brain, they can be fatal.
What Are Signs of an Amniotic Fluid Embolism?
Certain mothers may be at higher risk of an amniotic fluid embolism, including mothers over age 35, who suffer from preeclampsia, who have a C-section, or who have known problems with the placenta. Maternal medical staff must be familiar with the mother’s health and medical history and be on the alert for risk factors and potential complications.
Symptoms of an amniotic fluid embolism can develop suddenly and include:
- Pulmonary edema
- Low blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Cardiovascular collapse
- Blood clotting
- Severe anxiety or a feeling something terrible is about to happen
Any of these symptoms should be taken seriously and immediately addressed. Mothers are often very aware of signs in their own body that something may be wrong, and doctors should not simply brush off these signs as normal anxieties.
Call an Experienced Cook County Maternal Injuries Lawyer
Whether you or a loved one have suffered from negligent or reckless conduct on the part of your maternal care team, the consequences can be devastating. At Birth Injury Law Alliance, our Cook County maternal injuries lawyers have helped our clients pursue justice, even after the most difficult tragedies. We offer free, confidential consultations so you can get a better sense of whether a medical malpractice suit is the best choice for you and your family. Call us today at 312-462-4200.