Failure to Diagnose Cholestasis During Pregnancy

Bend Birth Injury Lawyer Explains Failure to Diagnose Cholestasis During Pregnancy

Discovering that you’re expecting a baby is typically an exciting time in a woman’s life. However, sometimes pregnancies do not go according to plan and women experience complications which can put themselves or the baby at risk for serious harm. Often times, complications are unavoidable but with ongoing appropriate monitoring and intervention if complications arise, further complications can be avoided or minimized. Unfortunately, there are times when signs of a complication can be missed entirely, placing the mother and baby at risk for serious harm. One example of a complication that can lead to serious harm of the mother and baby if not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner is cholestasis of pregnancy. The failure to diagnose cholestasis during pregnancy can be life-threatening and have fatal results, often leading to pain and suffering, high medical bills, and significant lost wages for family members. If your loved one was diagnosed with cholestasis or had complications from a delayed or missed diagnosis, call our Bend birth injury lawyer for help.

At the Kuhlman Law Office, our medical malpractice lawyer and experienced legal team understands that while this complication is often unavoidable, the outcomes are much better if diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. Our lawyer and his team will review your case for FREE to determine if you suffered secondary complications as a result of untreated or mismanaged cholestasis of pregnancy. There is no cost to learn about your rights, and there is no obligation to sign up. If you choose to hire our lawyer and if we accept your case, you will only owe us legal fees from a percentage of what we recover for you – and only after you get paid.

What is Cholestasis of Pregnancy?

Cholestasis of pregnancy, or intrahepactic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) is a liver condition that occurs during pregnancy which can put the unborn baby at risk for complications. The condition causes an interruption in the flow of bile. The causes of this condition are unknown but it is thought that certain risk factors may place the mother at risk for the development of this condition, such as a history of pregnancy from in vitro fertilization (IVF), treatment with progesterone, a history of liver damage, certain genetic mutations, and history of estrogen use.

Signs and Symptoms of Cholestasis During Pregnancy

There are many different signs and symptoms which can suggest that a woman is suffering from cholestasis of pregnancy. These signs and symptoms should necessitate further testing to identify the cause of the woman’s symptoms. The most common symptom of cholestasis during pregnancy is itching of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet Typically, this itching is not accompanied by a rash. The itching is usually quite pronounced and rarely mild. However, even mild itching should signal to the physician that further testing likely needs to be conducted to rule out cholestasis of pregnancy. Some of the other common symptoms of cholestasis of pregnancy include the following:

  • Pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen
  • Fatigue
  • Lighter colored stools or greasy stools
  • Decreased appetite
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Darker colored urine
  • Depression in some cases
  • Other symptoms of cholestasis during pregnancy

How is Cholestasis of Pregnancy Diagnosed?

Blood work is the primary way to identify cholestasis of pregnancy. The two tests which are most commonly used to identify this condition are liver function tests and a bile acid test. Elevated liver enzymes such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase are often elevated in the setting of cholestasis of pregnancy. An elevated bilirubin also can suggest this condition, but most women with this condition have a normal bilirubin level. There are many different bile acid tests that can be conducted to test for this condition. An elevation of the bile acid levels can suggest cholestasis of pregnancy.

How is Cholestasis of Pregnancy Treated?

Treatment of cholestasis of pregnancy is complex. Close monitoring of the mother and baby include non-stress tests (NSTs) and continued monitoring of blood work. Additionally, use of certain medications may help with this condition, such as Actigall or Ursodiol. In most cases, early delivery is recommended, often between 36 weeks and 39 weeks but an earlier delivery may be considered if a case is more severe or if there are signs of fetal compromise.

What Complications Can Occur as a Result of Cholestasis During Pregnancy?

Women who suffer from cholestasis during pregnancy are at risk for additional complications. While even women who are appropriately monitored and treated are at risk for these complications, women who are improperly monitored and treated are at higher risk for these complications. Some of the most common complications of this condition include the following:

  • Development of preeclampsia
  • Development of gestational diabetes
  • Preterm labor
  • Stillbirth
  • Meconium aspiration during delivery
  • Respiratory distress after delivery
  • Maternal hemorrhage
  • Other complications caused by cholestasis of pregnancy

How Can Medical Malpractice Lead to Complications Related to Cholestasis of Pregnancy?

There are many ways in which medical malpractice can cause further complications related to cholestasis of pregnancy. Doctors have a duty to listen to their patients and if their patients are reporting signs of cholestasis during pregnancy, they should promptly test for the condition so that proper monitoring and treatment can occur. Dismissal of these complaints can cause further complications if there is improper monitoring and treatment of the condition. Additionally, if a doctor does diagnose the condition but fails to properly monitor the mother and baby, it can allow for additional complications to occur. This is why if you were diagnosed with the condition in a timely manner but feel your condition was not monitored properly and you or your baby suffered harm as a result, you may be a victim of medical malpractice.

Why You Should Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

You may be left wondering if the complications you or your newborn suffered could have been prevented. Your doctor may have told you that everything was done to prevent these complications and that nothing could have prevented the outcome you experienced. However, this is not always the truth. Sometimes, doctors and other medical professionals fail to do everything they can to prevent a negative outcome. This is why it is wise to speak to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who can review your case to determine if you were the victim of medical malpractice.

An experienced Bend birth injury lawyer will work with expert witnesses, including physicians who can determine if you receive the proper care for your condition. If you or your baby suffered a negative outcome as a result of medical malpractice, you have the right to compensation for any losses sustained. Call today for a FREE consultation to learn more about how our lawyer can help you.

After a Failure to Diagnose Cholestasis During Pregnancy, Call Our Bend Birth Injury Lawyer For Help

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or wrongfully killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.

Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.

For a free case evaluation


(541) 385-1999 in Bend, Oregon
(503) 479-3646 in Portland, Oregon
(612) 444-3374 in Minnesota

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