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Medical Verdicts


Death blamed on failure to treat preeclampsia

July 2003 · Vol. 15, No. 7

<court>Montgomery County (Ala) Circuit Court</court>

Following delivery of a healthy baby, a 29-year-old woman began experiencing various problems, including rib pain, flu-like symptoms, and “sparkles” in her field of vision. Later, she developed adult respiratory distress syndrome and was admitted to intensive care. One month after giving birth, she died of multiorgan failure.

In suing, the husband claimed that the doctor failed to detect and treat severe preeclampsia and/or hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count syndrome.

The doctor argued his quality of care was adequate. He also noted that severe preeclampsia has a high mortality rate, regardless of the care, and is often resolved postdelivery.

  • The jury returned a verdict for the defense.

The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts. While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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