Postpartum Preeclampsia

Postpartum preeclampsia is similar to preeclampsia in symptoms, cause, and onset as related to pregnancy. Preeclampsia can develop in women who already had hypertension before pregnancy, and in women who did not experience hypertension previously. Postpartum preeclampsia is high blood pressure that develops shortly after delivery or up to a month and a half post-delivery. The cause of either type of preeclampsia is not well understood.

Complications that can occur for mothers due to postpartum preeclampsia are:

  • Coma
  • Elevated liver enzymes
  • Hemolysis
  • Low platelet count (factors responsible for blood clotting)
  • Pulmonary embolism or other thrombotic events
  • Pulmonary edema (fluid build-up in lungs)
  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Death

Symptoms of preeclampsia can include:

  • Decreased urine output
  • Abdominal pain in the upper right quadrant
  • Vision problems (blurry, double vision)
  • Headaches
  • Proteinuria (albumin detectable in urine samples)
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Edema (swelling -- especially of lower extremities)
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Sudden weight gain

Diagnostic tests a doctor uses to determine postpartum preeclampsia are blood pressure readings and urine samples with high amounts of protein. Risk factors that make a woman more likely to develop postpartum preeclampsia are:

  • C-section delivery
  • High blood pressure during pregnancy
  • Obesity

Regular prenatal care includes careful monitoring of blood pressure to prevent possible harm to mom and baby. If you believe you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a doctor’s failure to diagnose or treat gestational hypertension, or postpartum preeclampsia you may be eligible for damages. Contact the Sweeney Law Firm and have our experts review the facts to see if you have a medical malpractice case. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless there is a settlement or a recovery of funds for you.