Tragedy of Delayed Delivery of Full-Term Baby; Preeclampsia Is a Factor

Most recently, I have heard from mothers who have tragically lost a full-term baby for inexplicable reasons. In one particular case, the mother called me to talk about why her full-term child died in utero. She said that all of her prenatal care was uneventful. In fact, just 3 days before her due date, her doctor and staff did a final checkup on both her and her unborn child. Both were well.

This mother was 38 years old and had been trying for a full-term delivery with her husband for 7 years. She had been pregnant only once before but miscarried early in that pregnancy. Other than her somewhat advanced years, she had no known risks.

Yet when this mother called her doctor to say that the baby was not active, now just 2 days before her due date, the doctor discounted the alarm and told the mother that maybe she was in the early stages of labor. Instead, the mother’s blood pressure had actually become dangerously elevated,  which put the baby at risk.

Unfortunately, when the woman’s husband insisted that they go to the hospital the same day, it was too late. The doctor there informed the woman that the baby was dead and that she would deliver the baby vaginally the next day. Needless to say, this family was emotionally traumatized. They were devastated, very angry and disappointed.

But was there a claim to be brought? That remains to be seen as the hospital, prenatal records and ob gyn records are being retrieved and will be reviewed by a nurse and physician.

In another related case, another woman reported that she was diagnosed as having preeclampsia — elevated blood pressure — and her baby was born dead. This case is being investigated. But it appears from the records we have seen so far that there was a failure to order a transfer of this woman to a hospital in a timely manner, treat the preeclampsia, treat the placental abruption and fetal distress and deliver the baby before permanent injury, or in this case death, took place.

Preeclampsia — a condition in pregnant women — is not that uncommon.  In fact, 5-8% of pregnant women have been diagnosed with preeclampsia, which is the medical condition in which the mother experiences a rapid or progressive rise in blood pressure that endangers both the mom and the unborn child. The signs and symptoms of preeclampsia are sudden weight gain, vision changes, headaches, nausea, low back pain, shortness of breath, anxiety and swelling of feet and hands. Preeclampsia is the cause of some 500,000 infant deaths each year. Many of these deaths are not just predicable, but are preventable with the proper identification of the symptoms and treatment.

We are struck by the number of women who are afflicted and now are seeking our help. Kreisman Law Offices has been helping clients in birth trauma or birth injury cases for more than 40 years. We have successfully handled these cases in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas including Winnetka, Joliet, Elgin, River Grove, Mount Prospect, Wheaton, Hinsdale, Oak Lawn, Oak Forest and Chicago (Rogers Park, Old Town Triangle, East Side, South Loop, Lincoln Square, Bridgeport) Bridgeview and Maywood, Ill.

Related blog posts:
High-Low Agreement Before Jury’s Verdict of Zero Dollars Allowed Recovery of $1.5 Million in Birth Injury Case

$1.5 Million Jury Verdict in Lawsuit Over Delayed Cesarean Section

Jury Enters $10.93 Million Verdict for Doctor’s Failure to Take Adequate History of Pregnant Patient