May is Preeclampsia Awareness Month

by | May 19, 2016 | Medical Malpractice


When you are expecting a baby, you want to be sure that you receive the prenatal care that you need to ensure the healthy pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a condition that affects hundreds of thousands of pregnant women each year. Without early treatment, the condition can be potentially fatal for both mother and child. The month of May has been designated as Preeclampsia Awareness Month. At Burch, George & Germany, P.C., our Oklahoma City birth injury lawyers want you to be aware of the risk factors for preeclampsia as well as the steps you can take to protect your health.

What Is Preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a progressive condition that occurs during pregnancy. According to fact sheets from the Preeclampsia Foundation, it often causes elevated blood pressure, swelling, and a condition called proteinuria, which is the presence of protein in the urine. The danger that preeclampsia presents to pregnant women is alarming:

Approximately 8% of all pregnant women in the U.S. suffer preeclampsia, translating into roughly 300,000 cases each year;
Left untreated, preeclampsia can result in eclampsia, one of the top five causes of maternal death and illness throughout the world;
In the U.S. alone, preeclampsia is responsible for
of all premature births
and nearly
of all maternal deaths.
The Preeclampsia Foundation estimates that as many as 75,000 women and more than 500,000 infants die from preeclampsia complications and other high blood pressure-related conditions each year.

The Dangers of Preeclampsia During Pregnancy

Your obstetrician plays an important role in helping to protect you and your child against the devastating effects of preeclampsia. According to the Oklahoma Department of Health (DOH), blood pressure monitoring is vital to detecting and treating preeclampsia, which typically appears after the 20th week of pregnancy. Women most at risk for preeclampsia include:

  • Those experiencing their first pregnancy;
  • Those carrying more than one baby;
  • Women with a history of hypertension or renal disease;
  • Those with diabetes or a history of insulin resistance;
  • Women who have experienced preeclampsia in a previous pregnancy.

In addition to the above, the Oklahoma Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) has identified first time mothers over the age of 35 as being at increased risk for preeclampsia during pregnancy. Women with weight issues also face increased risks.

What To Do After Preeclampsia Diagnosis?

According to Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitory System (PRAMS), mothers aged 20 to 29 suffering preeclampsia are roughly 30 percent more likely to experience low birth weight babies and the need for induced labors and cesarean deliveries. Early symptoms of preeclampsia may be difficult for an expectant mother to recognize, so it is crucial for doctors to provide regular monitoring. A doctor’s failure to provide adequate prenatal monitoring of a woman with preeclampsia could result in legal liability for any birth injuries that result.

If you have been diagnosed with preeclampsia and suffered related complications, contact our experienced Oklahoma City medical malpractice attorneys today. We can help you seek the compensation you need to recover, such as compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Raising Preeclampsia Awareness for Moms

You can help raise preeclampsia awareness this month by sharing the above information with family and friends on social media. You can also get additional information on preeclampsia or share your own struggles with this condition by visiting the Preeclampsia Foundation website online.