Hypertension and Pregnancy, Gestational Hypertension, PIH, and Preeclampsia

by Bruce Fagel on Feb. 04, 2013

Accident & Injury Medical Malpractice Accident & Injury  Personal Injury Accident & Injury  Wrongful Death 

Summary: Hypertension during pregnancy is a serious issue that may affect the health of the mother or infant. PIH needs to be monitored and where necessary, treated to prevent preeclampsia from developing.

Gestational hypertension, also known as PIH / pregnancy induced hypertension, involves a condition of high blood pressure during a woman’s pregnancy.  High blood pressure, if left untreated during a pregnancy can lead to preeclampsia, which if not properly treated can result in the placenta not receiving an adequate blood supply, which will reduce the amount of oxygen and food that is required for the infant in the womb. This can result in a baby being born with a low birth weight or dying after birth.

Eclampsia is a condition that may occur if preeclampsia is not properly monitored and treated.  Eclampsia involves high blood pressure and rapid weight gain and results in seizures to the mother during pregnancy. If untreated, eclampsia can lead to separation of the placenta and result in premature birth.

Warning signs for PIH and preeclampsia:
  • High blood pressure
  • Water retention and weight gain
  • Protein in the urine
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vision problems
  • Swelling of the hands and face
  • Bruising that occurs too easily
Some of these symptoms may be warning signs of other medical conditions, so a pregnant woman who has these symptoms needs to see her doctor for an examination.  The doctor will be able to check the blood pressure, placenta, kidney’s, and perform an ultrasound.

One of the dangerous risks of gestational hypertension / PIH, preeclampsia, and eclampsia is premature birth.  A normal vaginal delivery may be too stressful for a baby with low birth weight.  This puts the infant in jeopardy of being stillborn or ending up with serious permanent medical problems.  The baby’s brain, kidney’s, and liver can all be damaged from the PIH restricting the blood flow during the fetus stage. 

PIH treatment a doctor may prescribe:
  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day
  • Use little or no salt in meals
  • Avoid fried foods, fatty foods, and junk foods
  • No alcohol or caffeine
  • Regular exercise
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Take doctor prescribed medication and supplements
  • Elevate the feet a few times a day
  • Schedule periodic checkups with the doctor to have the PIH checked and monitor the condition of the infant
It is imperative that preeclampsia, or PIH be detected and treated early before serious damage can be caused to the infant or the mother.  If this condition is treated early, the mother should be able to deliver a healthy baby.  If the doctor does not discover or treat gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, or eclampsia and this results in a serious injury to the baby or mother, the family may have a case for medical malpractice against the doctor. 

If your baby was injured because a doctor failed to properly treat your hypertension during pregnancy, you should contact an experienced birth injury attorney such as Dr. Bruce G. Fagel, who is both a leading medical malpractice attorney and a licensed medical doctor.

Visit us on Facebook and Twitter:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/birthinjury
Twitter: https://twitter.com/fagellaw

Legal Articles Additional Disclaimer

Lawyer.com is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice. Content posted on Lawyer.com is the sole responsibility of the person from whom such content originated and is not reviewed or commented on by Lawyer.com. The application of law to any set of facts is a highly specialized skill, practiced by lawyers and often dependent on jurisdiction. Content on the site of a legal nature may or may not be accurate for a particular state or jurisdiction and may largely depend on specific circumstances surrounding individual cases, which may or may not be consistent with your circumstances or may no longer be up-to-date to the extent that laws have changed since posting. Legal articles therefore are for review as general research and for use in helping to gauge a lawyer's expertise on a matter. If you are seeking specific legal advice, Lawyer.com recommends that you contact a lawyer to review your specific issues. See Lawyer.com's full Terms of Use for more information.