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Misdiagnosis of this pregnancy-related illness happens often

If you are like other Ohio women, your largest concerns regarding your pregnancy were during the first trimester, which many consider the most dangerous time for the baby. In fact, many women don't announce their pregnancies until they pass the three-month mark believing the danger has passed.

For many women, that may be true. They go on to have uneventful pregnancies and ultimately leave the hospital with a healthy new baby, but not everyone gets this type of happy ending. Any number of things could happen during the third trimester of your pregnancy that could put your life in jeopardy and possibly your baby's as well. Perhaps you neglected to think that your own life could end up at risk due to pregnancy-related ailments.

Symptoms of HELLP syndrome

This syndrome, which most often occurs in the third trimester, does not happen to many women. This may explain why the potential for misdiagnosis may be high. The symptoms don't necessarily help doctors identify it since they also occur in many other conditions. For instance, below are the symptoms of HELLP syndrome:

  • Increasingly worse nausea and vomiting
  • Swelling
  • Headaches
  • Protein in the urine
  • Tenderness or pain in the upper right abdominal area
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Bleeding
  • Visual disturbances

These symptoms can get worse if not diagnosed right away. Your doctor should monitor your blood pressure and check for protein in your urine. If you exhibit any of the above symptoms, you should mention them to your doctor. Even if you think they are nothing, they could turn out to be something serious, such as HELLP syndrome.

Treatment of HELLP syndrome

The best treatment for this condition is the birth of your baby. However, if you are less than 34 weeks, your unborn child's lungs may not be developed enough for birth. If that can't be remedied quickly, then your doctor may prescribe the following treatments:

  • Admission to the hospital
  • Bed rest
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Corticosteroids
  • Magnesium sulfate
  • Fetal monitoring

You may even need a blood transfusion since it's possible that your platelet count could become dangerously low. Your doctor should also closely monitor fetal movement, conduct sonograms and conduct other testing to ensure the health of your baby.

Complications of HELLP syndrome

If your condition isn't diagnosed in time, or even if it is, you could experience the following complications:

  • Fluid buildup in the lungs
  • Hemorrhaging from blood clotting problems
  • Placental abruption
  • Ruptured liver hematoma
  • Acute renal failure
  • Adult or infant respiratory distress syndrome
  • Intrauterine growth restriction

In addition, the condition could be life-threatening to you and your unborn child. If you believe your doctor failed to provide you with the standard of care you deserved, and you suffered serious harm as a result, you may want to explore your legal options and understand your rights.

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