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Pre-eclampsia claims


Author: Sara Westwood

Clinical Negligence

Sara Westwood, Partner and Medical Negligence Expert at Hatch Brenner Solicitors in Norwich

Sara Westwood, Partner and Medical Negligence Expert at Hatch Brenner Solicitors in Norwich

What is pre-eclampsia?

Pre-eclampsia is a serious condition that affects some pregnant women, usually during the second half of pregnancy or soon after the delivery of the baby. Early signs include high blood pressure (hypertension) and protein in the urine, which should be picked up during routine antenatal appointments. Up to 6% of all UK pregnancies will be affected by pre-eclampsia.*

NICE guidelines outline the process for screening for infections and other clinical conditions during pregnancy; unfortunately when these procedures are not followed, or not followed properly, both mother and baby can suffer irreparable damage.

Symptoms of pre-eclampsia:

  • Swelling of the feet, ankles, face and hands
  • Severe headache
  • Vision problems
  • Pain below the ribs

The cause of pre-eclampsia is unknown, and there is currently no cure, other than to deliver the baby.

If a mother is diagnosed with mild pre-eclampsia her condition will be closely monitored throughout the remainder of her pregnancy until it is safe to deliver the baby.

Can I make a claim for pre-eclampsia?

There are a number of medical negligence claims that can arise from pre-eclampsia and you may be entitled to compensation in the following instances:

  • Diagnosis – The diagnosis of pre-eclampsia is ordinarily done during routine antenatal check-ups when blood pressure and urine checks are undertaken. If the medial staff who treated you during your pregnancy failed to detect pre-eclampsia or misdiagnosed the condition, resulting in injury to mother and/or baby you may have a claim.
  • Treatment – Once detected, treatment of pre-eclampsia involves regular monitoring, with efforts made to lower blood pressure until the baby is safe to deliver. You may have a claim if there was a delay or failure to treat the condition, causing harm or suffering to the mother and/or baby.
  • Negligence – if there was a failure to deliver the baby promptly and safely following the diagnosis of pre-eclampsia or if you feel the treatment you received was negligent you may be entitled to compensation.

When making a claim for compensation, it is important you seek the advice of a medical negligence solicitor, who has experience of birth injury and pregnancy claims.

If you and/or your baby have suffered injury as a result of pre-eclampsia and you think you may have a claim, contact our specialist team on 01603 660 811, or sarawestwood@hatchbrenner.co.uk.


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