What is preeclampsia and why is it so dangerous?

Many women in the Houston area are fortunate enough to experience normal, healthy pregnancies. For those who experience complications, though, the experience can be frightening, painful and, at times, devastating. Those who are affected by pregnancy-related injuries can face huge medical costs, physical trauma or potential loss of life. One of the common pregnancy complications an expecting mother might experience is preeclampsia, a very serious medical issue for a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

Most Texans are likely aware that high blood pressure can be dangerous in adult men and non-pregnant women. However, high blood pressure in pregnant women can be particularly risky. The range of disorders involving high blood pressure, or hypertension, includes gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and eclampsia. When preeclampsia occurs, a woman's high blood pressure can reduce the blood supply to the fetus, in turn reducing oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. Preeclampsia can also cause damage to the liver and kidneys.

In addition to preeclampsia, there is another risk to pregnant women known as eclampsia. This occurs when a pregnant woman who has preeclampsia experiences seizures or even a coma. Since eclampsia can affect the brain, it is a serious threat to the health and well-being of mother and baby.

If a woman's doctor informs her of her risk for preeclampsia, the woman is likely to be closely-monitored by her prenatal team. Her blood pressure will have to be vigilantly monitored; her OB/GYN will also probably carefully review her blood and protein levels in urine. In some cases, a woman may need to submit to bed rest before delivery, take medication to lower blood pressure or have labor induced early in order to ensure a safe delivery.

If the proper precautions aren't taken, the resulting injury can affect an entire family. Families impacted by the effects of preeclampsia complications may seek the advice of a Texas medical malpractice attorney.