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Negligent monitoring during pregnancy may lead to future problems

As Oregon families can attest, pregnancy is supposed to be a time of celebration. During this time, prenatal care is vital for the health and well being of the expecting mother and her unborn child. This is especially true for high-risk pregnancies where there is a greater risk of injury to the mother and her child.

Preeclampsia is one of the most common, and dangerous, complications of pregnancy. Preeclampsia is high blood pressure in a pregnant woman who had normal blood pressure prior to pregnancy. Even a small increase in blood pressure can be a sign of the condition. If left untreated, the complications can be serious - even fatal - for the mother and baby. The only way to cure preeclampsia is for the baby to be born. If diagnosed too early in a pregnancy to deliver the baby, the condition must be carefully monitored to avoid putting both mother and baby at risk.

The majority of women with preeclampsia, if properly monitored, go on to lead normal lives. However, the findings of a new study suggests that mothers of one child who developed preeclampsia during pregnancy were more likely to die from heart disease compared to mothers of multiple children who also developed the condition.

Overall, women with preeclampsia in their first pregnancy had a higher risk of passing away from heart disease than woman who did not have preeclampsia. However, the risk was nearly nine times higher in women with one child. The risk was 2.4 times higher among those with several children.

The association among preeclampsia in single-child mothers and heart-disease-related death suggests these women need special monitoring in the long-term. When physicians fail to provide adequate care during and after pregnancy, their negligent monitoring can have major complications for mothers. Victims of this form of medical malpractice may be able to seek compensation for their injuries through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Source: U.S. News, "High blood pressure during pregnancy tied to later heart trouble," Nov. 28, 2012

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