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High blood pressure and pregnancy do not mix

The goal after getting pregnant is to have a happy, healthy pregnancy with no issues. Unfortunately, pregnancy is different for everyone. Complications arise that can be dangerous for both mother and child. For example, many women in Oregon experience high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, while pregnant, which can cause significant issues if it goes untreated. 

Three different types of high blood pressure may happen during pregnancy 

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are three different types of hypertension that may happen during pregnancy. They are chronic, gestational and preeclampsia. The difference between the three are as follows: 

  • Chronic: Occurs before week 20, may have started before pregnancy 
  • Gestational: Occurs after week 20, slow-onset 
  • Preeclampsia: Occurs after week 20, sudden-onset 

Preeclampsia is the most severe of the three. Chronic and gestational hypertension can develop into preeclampsia if they go unchecked and untreated. Complications of high blood pressure during pregnancy for the child include low birth weight, preterm birth and possibly death. For the mother, complications include organ damage, heart damage and, on occasion, death. 

How should hypertension be treated? 

If high blood pressure occurs before week 37, ones medical provider is likely to monitor it closely or prescribe medication to help lower it. After week 37, ones medical provider will likely opt to deliver. Delivery is the only way to stop preeclampsia. Symptoms may go away immediately or up to six weeks after delivery. In rare cases, hypertension persists and requires immediate treatment.  

What if a medical provider failed to treat high blood pressure properly? 

While the dangers of high blood pressure during pregnancy are well documented and known to medical providers, some fail to treat it properly or in a timely manner. Women in Oregon, or  in the event of fatality  their surviving family members, who have suffered loss because a medical provider failed to diagnose or treat hypertension may be entitled to seek compensation for their losses. Legal counsel can help one file the appropriate civil claims and either negotiate a fair settlement or seek maximum relief through litigation.