Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can be especially dangerous during pregnancy and labor. Although hypertension can be diagnosed in women of child-bearing age, the risk of hypertension that occurs during pregnancy is increased as a result of abnormalities of the placenta, which affects blood flow in the mother. Pregnancy-induced hypertension is usually diagnosed late in pregnancy although it can occur earlier. When it is diagnosed, the patient has to be carefully monitored because of the risk of seizures in the mother or other problems that can affect the baby, often leading to a premature delivery of the baby. When pregnancy-induced hypertension occurs in a patient, it can progress and become severe enough to require delivery of the baby, even if it is premature, in order to save the life of the mother. Usually, delivery of the baby, will help the condition and prevent progress of the disorder. If pregnancy-induced hypertension gets worse before the delivery of the baby, it can lead to bleeding disorders in addition to seizures, and is considered a potentially life-threatening condition. This type of severe hypertension is called eclampsia.
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