Without prompt and adequate treatment, pregnancy complications often threaten the life of a mother carrying the child as well as child itself. Illinois birth injury lawyers realize that to protect lives, doctors must properly examine and diagnose pregnant mothers who exhibit signs of infection and provide treatment to prevent the condition from worsening.
An article published recently in the Dallas Morning News shows how a treatable infection can quickly degenerate into deadly septic shock if healthcare providers fail to administer appropriate care. A woman was admitted into the hospital with an 104.8 degree fever and complaining of neck and lower back pain – characteristic signs of an infection. A sonogram showed that the woman had been 17 weeks pregnant, but the baby had died. Rather than removing the fetus immediately to address the infection and without examining the woman, doctors ordered the procedure to be performed the next morning, 16 hours later.
During the intervening hours, the woman’s condition devolved into sepsis, a severe blood infection caused by an infection in another part of the body that can result in blood clotting, multiple organ failure, and death. The woman experienced septic shock and fell into a coma that lasted for three months.
Now the woman must receive dialysis three times a week, is on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, and has suffered two strokes, brain surgery, blood clots, liver damage, a partial hysterectomy, and heart surgery. The family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking redress for this pain and suffering and to cope with over $3 million in medical bills accrued so far. The hospital could have avoided all of these afflictions had the staff met the standard of care and recognized the severity of the woman’s condition on that first night.
Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys have represented families who suffer when their attending physicians fail to properly diagnose and treat pregnancy complications. In June 2009, we settled a case for $5.35 million on behalf of a daughter whose mother died after her physician failed to diagnose and provide timely treatment for her postpartum cardiomyopathy. The mother arrived in the emergency room with complaints of shortness of breath and chest pain. She was not boarded in the ICU and was improperly treated in the emergency room for pneumonia, worsening her heart failure. She died 15 hours later.
Delayed treatment for pregnancy complications can result in severe illnesses that shatter the lives of the families affected. You should be able to rely on your healthcare providers to administer timely and appropriate care during pregnancy; when they fail to provide that care, contact an Illinois birth injury attorney to discuss your options.
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