High-Risk Pregnancy and Medical Malpractice June 5, 2013.

Many health issues can arise during pregnancy or contribute to a high-risk pregnancy. If your doctor failed to diagnose a condition or symptoms that caused you or your baby serious injuries, contact our birth injury lawyers for a free consultation, or request our free, easy-to-read guide to filing a malpractice claim in Ohio.

High-risk pregnancy factors include:

  • Fertility Treatment – Problems may arise if a patient suffers an allergic reaction to fertility drugs, or if she suffers ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), a potentially dangerous — even fatal — over-reaction to fertility drugs. "Having a multiple birth (twins, triplets or more) is the single greatest health risk associated with fertility treatment," says Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (hfea.gov.uk). "Studies show that the risk of death before birth, or within the first week of life, is more than four times greater for twins than for a single baby. For triplets, the risk is seven times greater than for a single baby. The risk of cerebral palsy is five times higher for twins and 18 times higher for triplets than for a single baby."
  • Age – Women over age 35 run a higher risk of developing preeclampsia and gestational diabetes (see What Is Gestational Diabetes below).
  • Smoking, drinking, abusing drugs.
  • Medical history, such as anemia, diabetes, epilepsy, high blood pressure, or previous births in which the baby was: delivered via C-section; born premature and/or underweight; miscarried.
  • Pregnancy complications, such as hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness that extends beyond the first trimester), polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid) or oligohydramnios (too little amniotic fluid), or Rh (rhesus) sensitization, which can cause the baby to suffer anemia, jaundice, brain damage, heart failure, or death, per March of Dimes.

What Is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes occurs when the mother’s pancreas becomes unable to produce sufficient insulin to keep up with the hormonal changes of pregnancy. This causes her blood sugar to increase.

Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes can be large, making delivery difficult. They are also at a higher risk for developing jaundice and breathing problems after birth.

What Is Preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia Foundation defines the condition as a disorder "characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine," which causes "76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths each year." There is no cure for preeclampsia, which may be caused by genetics, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, lupus, "poor nutrition, high body fat, or insufficient blood flow to the uterus," per WebMD.

When to Consult a Birth Injury Lawyer

If your doctor dismissed persistent headaches; blurred vision; pain, cramping, burning, bleeding, or vaginal discharge; contractions; or decreased fetal kicking as cause for concern, and your baby was born with a serious injury, you may have a viable claim. Likewise, if your physician neglected to recommend appropriate tests, such as targeted ultrasound, amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling (CVS), cordocentesis, or a biophysical profile, that could have detected brain or spine abnormalities, blood disorders, or infections, you may be able to pursue compensation for medical expenses and any ongoing treatment your child will need. Contact birth injury lawyer Chris Mellino for a free consultation, or request his free guide to filing a medical malpractice claim in Ohio.