Written by attorney Christopher Michael Mellino

Shock During Pregnancy May Reveal Negligent Healthcare Workers

Shock during pregnancy occurs when the body cannot deliver an adequate supply of blood to vital organ systems. Shock may result from injury, illness or excessive bleeding, and can lead to a loss of consciousness, dizziness, weakness and loss of cognitive abilities. In a pregnant woman, consequences of trauma in pregnancy can be even worse, affecting both the mother and the unborn child.

In pregnant women, there are two possible types of maternal shock: hemorrhagic shock and septic shock. Medical malpractice caused by trauma in pregnancy should be handled by a medical malpractice lawyer in Cleveland.

Trauma in Pregnancy: Hemorrhagic Shock

Hemorrhagic shock occurs out of some sort of trauma or injury and is common when the woman has been in a car accident, suffered a fall or been assaulted. These significant traumas can lead to problems with the placenta or cause uterine rupture, which can cause excessive vaginal bleeding, pain in the lower abdomen and, eventually, shock due to blood loss.

Pregnant women who suffer hemorrhagic shock must immediately be administered oxygen and delivered replacement fluids through an IV. An ultrasound is also required to diagnose the source of the bleeding so doctors can work to treat it. The fetus should also be monitored constantly throughout the process to ensure its health and safety.

Septic Shock During Pregnancy

Septic shock is a type of infection that affects a person’s entire body. Typically, in pregnant women, septic shock results from a septic abortion, kidney infection, infection of the amniotic sac, uterine infection, or is caused by bacteria acquired after trauma or surgery.

Septic shock can affect the woman’s blood circulation, immune system, central nervous and endocrine system, and in the end, could cause functional problems in nearly every vital organ in the body.

Signs of septic shock during pregnancy include:

  • rapid heart rate;
  • low blood pressure;
  • extremely high or low body temperature;
  • restlessness;
  • confusion or disorientation;
  • warm, flushed skin;
  • irregular heart beat;
  • yellowed skin;
  • kidney failure; or
  • genital bleeding.

If septic shock is recognized, there are several treatment options available. First, fluids can be delivered intravenously to restore blood circulation, pulse and blood pressure. Next, the woman will be treated with antibiotics to fight the infections. Depending on the site of the infection, surgery may also be required to remove abscesses or infected organs.

Other Types of Shock During Pregnancy

Cardiogenic shock may also be possible in pregnant women. This results from an underlying heart issue, when the left ventricle is not able to pump an adequate amount of blood for the body to function. In other cases, amniotic fluid embolisms and pulmonary embolisms can lead to maternal shock in Ohio. Medical malpractice Cleveland attorneys usually file the initial claim for a healthcare negligence lawsuit.

No matter the cause, when a pregnant woman goes into shock, it’s imperative that doctors respond immediately and properly for the mother’s safety and that of her unborn child. Any undue delay in treating or responding to the shock could lead to injury or death of the mother and/or child.

Any family who was affected by a doctor’s failure to properly treat maternal shock could have grounds for a legal claim. The family could be due compensation for medical bills, pain, suffering and other damages from the negligent doctor. They are encouraged to contact Cleveland attorney, Mellino Robenalt, LLC, today to discuss a shock during pregnancy case.

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