PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension) or gestational hypertension is a medical term referring to the mother having high blood pressure during pregnancy. If the mother has high blood pressure, it is important for the doctor to pay close attention throughout the pregnancy. If the PIH is not properly monitored and treated, the baby may end up with serious and permanent birth injury, or die.
If left unchecked, PIH can escalate into preeclampsia, which can cause liver failure or cardiovascular problems in the mother, or eclampsia, which can result in seizures of the mother. Preeclampsia can harm the infant by preventing the placenta from receiving an adequate supply of blood, which starves the infant of the proper amount of food and oxygen. This can result in the baby being born with a low birth weight.
When PIH reaches advanced stages including eclampsia, the baby may have to be born through a premature delivery. In this type of situation, there is a chance of the baby receiving serious birth injuries or a stillbirth delivery. PIH restricts the blood flow to the fetus's important organs, including the placenta, brain, liver, kidneys, and uterus. Without an adequate flow of blood to these organs, the fetus may be deprived of nourishing fluids to help it survive in the womb and grow.
Hypertension and pregnancy / PIH symptoms:
High blood pressure
Pain in the upper abdomen
Protein in the urine
Nausea or vomiting
Since some of these warning signs may be normal pregnancy symptoms or relate to other problems, it is important for pregnant women experiencing any of these symptoms to contact their physician for a checkup. The doctor will check the mothers' blood pressure and urine levels. The doctor may perform additional tests including an ultrasound, a kidney check, and examine the placenta for proper blood flow.
The doctor may recommend the following treatments for PIH / gestational hypertension:
Drinking up to 8 glasses of water a day
Avoiding junk foods, including fried foods
Medications or nutritional supplements
Routine doctor visits to make sure the infant and mother are healthy
PIH and eclampsia can be extremely dangerous for both the baby and mother, however if detected and treated early, PIH shouldn't cause any major problems. If the doctor fails to detect or treat PIH, and serious birth injuries occur to the baby or the mother is seriously injured, this may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. If your baby was injured because a doctor failed to detect and treat PIH or some other treatable problem, you should contact a leading birth injury attorney. Dr. Bruce Fagel is a top medical malpractice attorney and a licensed physician.
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