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HELLP Syndrome

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2015 | Birth Injury, Medical Malpractice

One of the greatest joys in life is bringing life into this world. A mother’s number one priority is the health of her child. That should be top priority for caretakers and physicians as well. Unfortunately, however, that is not always that case. One of the dangers prevalent during pregnancies is HELLP Syndrome.

Named after Dr. Louis Weinstein in 1982, HELLP Syndrome is classified by its symptoms, which are hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and a low platelet count. It is a variant of preeclampsia, which is characterized by high blood pressure and damage to another organ system. One or two women out of a thousand are affected by this syndrome.

Symptoms and Causes of HELLP Syndrome

There is no concrete known cause for HELLP Syndrome. It usually develops during the third trimester of a pregnancy. Common discerning factors are high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Other symptoms of HELLP Syndrome include:

  • Changes in vision
  • Progressively worse nausea and vomiting
  • Pain when taking deep breaths
  • Headaches
  • Stomach or chest tenderness
  • Pain in the upper right side (Related to liver distention)

Because the symptoms are so similar, doctors may misdiagnose mothers with illnesses such as gallbladder disease, hepatitis, and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. The best option for treatment is to deliver the baby immediately because it can negatively hurt the baby.

Babies over two pounds at delivery have the same survival and health rate as babies that do not have HELLP Syndrome. However, for infants under two pounds, they are at a higher risk health risks and may need to be put on a ventilator. Because vital organs such as the liver and kidneys are affected, it does not help to prolong the treatment processes. Kidney failure can hold extreme medical risks for the baby.

Don’t Suffer in Silence

When it comes to HELLP Syndrome, it is important to work efficiently to treat the symptoms. A misdiagnosis can put both mother and baby at extreme risk. If you or your baby has suffered because of medical negligence or inattention, contact us today. Our experienced Chicago birth injury attorneys can help review your story and see if you have a case. We fight for our clients to ensure they receive the justice they deserve.