There are a variety of issues that may arise during pregnancy that could threaten the health of both the child and the mother. Preeclampsia is one serious pregnancy complication that can lead to devastating consequences, including seizures, organ damage, or even death in some cases. It is characterized by high blood pressure during pregnancy, and it may occur even if a mother did not have any previous heart conditions or health issues related to blood pressure. Pregnant women with preeclampsia are at an increased risk of stroke, preterm birth, stillbirth, or infant death after birth. Fortunately, a new blood test may be able to help doctors detect this condition earlier so they can provide better care for their patients.
Blood Tests Provide Warnings About the Severity of Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia occurs in approximately one out of every 25 pregnancies. It usually occurs around halfway through a pregnancy, and it is characterized by blood pressure that is higher than normal, as well as symptoms such as headaches and swelling in different parts of the body. Black women are more likely to experience preeclampsia than white women, and they are also more likely to experience severe and life-threatening health issues in these situations. Unfortunately, determining whether preeclampsia is severe and likely to threaten the health of the mother or child can sometimes be difficult.
In some cases, preeclampsia may be a concern that is monitored by doctors, but it may not cause serious health issues, and a mother may deliver her child after the pregnancy reaches full term. However, in others, it may rapidly develop into serious complications that may include the failure of organs such as the liver and kidneys, swelling in the brain, and seizures. In many of these cases, the only treatment option is to deliver the child immediately. An emergency Cesarean section may need to be performed, and depending on the stage of pregnancy, this can lead to its own complications.
Determining whether high blood pressure may lead to preeclampsia and whether a mother is likely to experience severe health issues is not always easy, since the symptoms can vary from person to person, and they may change suddenly from day to day. However, a new test that measures the protein levels in a mother’s blood has recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and it may help determine whether high blood pressure is likely to lead to severe complications. This test may be performed between the 23rd and 35th week of pregnancy, and it can estimate with high accuracy whether a mother is likely to develop preeclampsia within the next two weeks. A negative result can provide assurance that complications are unlikely to occur throughout the rest of the pregnancy, although the test may need to be repeated regularly to check for potential concerns. A positive result will allow doctors to determine whether early delivery is necessary or other measures can be taken to prevent serious complications.
Contact Our Illinois Birth Injury Lawyers for Preeclampsia
While doctors may have more tools at their disposal to help identify health issues that could lead to birth injuries, mothers and children may still suffer harm if the proper care and treatment are not provided during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. At [[title]], our Chicago birth injury attorneys can help families determine how to address health concerns related to a lack of proper medical care or failure to address symptoms of preeclampsia or other conditions. We can provide guidance on the available resources to families, ensuring that mothers and children can address their ongoing health issues and receive the care they need. To learn more about how we can assist with issues related to birth injuries, contact us at [[phone]] and arrange a free consultation.