Preeclampsia and Cerebral Palsy

Donald Saiontz

By Donald Saiontz
Posted March 20, 2008


Preeclampsia is a serious medical condition which can occur in pregnant women. If a doctor, nurse or medical provider, fails to follow the proper standard of medical care, they may miss warning signs and fail to properly treat pre-eclampsia. This may lead to a premature delivery, and increase the risk that the baby suffers a devastating birth injury, such as cerebral palsy.

>>INFORMATION: Medical mistakes resulting in cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is a chronic motor disability which can be caused by damage to a child’s brain before, during or immediately after birth. The risk of cerebral palsy is greatly increased with an early delivery, and-preeclampsia is the leading cause of premature births in the United States, accounting for about 15% of all pre-term deliveries occurring before 36 weeks of gestational age.

Preeclampsia, also referred to as pregnancy-induced hypertension, is a set of symptoms which occur in approximately 10% of first pregnancies in the United States. It is important for pregnant women to be routinely monitored by their doctors, especially if they are at a higher risk for preeclampsia (such as those who are older, obese, carrying twins or who have a history of high blood pressure or diabetes), since the condition can develop and progress to a dangerous level very rapidly.

Signs of preeclampsia could include:

  • Raised blood pressure (higher than 140 over 90)
  • Protein in the urine
  • Severe headaches
  • Swelling in the hands and face
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Sudden weight gain.

Once identified, most doctors treat pre-eclampsia by placing a pregnant woman on bed rest to help lower the blood pressure and increase the supply of blood to the placenta. The only cure for pre-eclampsia is to deliver the baby, and a doctor must carefully monitor the condition of both the mother and the unborn baby to balance the risk factors and make an appropriate decision about when to deliver the baby.


The birth injury lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. investigate potential medical malpractice lawsuits for mistakes which result in a child developing cerebral palsy. If a medical provider fails to properly monitor the mother, they may miss early signs of preeclampsia, placing the pregnant woman and their baby in danger. If you believe that your child or a family member has suffered a birth injury resulting in cerebral pasly as a result of a doctors failure to follow the proper standard of medical care before, during or immediately after birth, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

1 Comment • Add Your Comments

  • Mindy says:

    We read your blog posting and the MIST test can help. With 400,000 pregnancies affected each year by hypertension, and half of those may develop preeclampsia, you should know that the MIST test is a breakthrough in medical technology that you should be asking your doctor for at 16 – 22 weeks of pregnancy. This is a completely non-invasive test, similar to an electrocardiogram, which allows you and your doctor to know 2 – 3 months in advance of the onset of preeclampsia. Symptoms may not appear until 24 – 28 weeks or later in your pregnancy but with the MIST test you can be put on a treatment plan early on, potentially saving your pregnancy and your unborn baby’s life. Visit for more information and start asking your doctor for your MIST test today.

    Posted on April 10, 2008 at 1:10 pm

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