Obstetric Cholestasis - Medical Malpractice Lawyer - ICP
Obstetric cholestasis, also known as intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) affects some women during pregnancy. Many cases of obstetric cholestasis are mishandled or misdiagnosed by healthcare professionals resulting in numerous avoidable medical malpractice compensation claims. Obstetric cholestasis can be a serious condition for the mother and the baby, and it is estimated that seven in one thousand pregnant women have the condition.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Our team of medical negligence lawyers handles a wide range of personal injury cases including the physical complications of obstetric cholestasis. If you would like a free, no obligation consultation relating to the effects of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy please contact us today for more information. A specialist ICP medical malpractice lawyer will handle personal injury compensation claim settlements that deal with the issues of obstetric cholestasis arising when a physician has not administered proper care or treatment. If you would like to talk to one of our medical malpractice lawyers who deals with obstetric cholestasis compensation claims, please use the contact form on this website or email our offices. We offer free advice with no further obligation in order to protect your legal right to claim compensation for personal injury caused by negligence. Time limits apply to obstetric cholestasis medical malpractice lawsuits and you should take legal advice from a specialist obstetric cholestasis medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible after the negligent event that caused your injury. Please contact us today to find out how we can help.
Obstetric cholestasis causes the liver to interrupt the flow of bile as it passes through the biliary ducts. When this occurs, bile cannot enter the hepatic duct properly, which can prevent the absorption and digestion of fats. In most cases, symptoms develop in the third trimester when hormones are at the highest levels, and usually include jaundice or extreme itching. There are rare cases of the condition developing in the first trimester and staying throughout the entire pregnancy.
The itching that is associated with this condition can be so intense that it causes the woman to be unable to sleep or carry out routine activities. Most of the time, the itching is worse on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. Even though jaundice is less common, it does suggest the disease has become more severe. Nearly twenty percent of women with obstetric cholestasis have jaundice. Other less common symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, mild depression, and darkened urine.
Obstetric cholestasis is serious to the mother, but it is even more serious for the fetus, and distress, hemorrhages, premature birth and still births are possible. Approximately forty four percent of women with this condition deliver the baby before thirty seven weeks.
An early diagnosis is the best way to treat obstetric cholestasis. Medical tests that measure serum bile acid are reasonably accurate. These tests require fasting in order to ensure true measurements, and if the levels are high, it is usually because of obstetric cholestasis.
In earlier days, obstetric cholestasis was treated with medication to lower cholesterol, such as cholestryamine. Nowadays, studies suggest this treatment is not effective in reducing bile acid levels in blood. Instead, a treatment known as Actigall has been shown to be quite effective as it causes bile acids to be replaced. Actigall also reduces the risk of still births. Vitamin K has been shown to help improve fat soluble vitamin absorption and reduce complications from bleeding. Steroids can be given to the mother before thirty two weeks to help reduce the risk for breathing problems in the baby, and to reduce the itching in the mother.
It is always recommended that pregnant women be monitored throughout the pregnancy to make sure the baby is developing properly and everyone is healthy. If the baby is showing signs of distress, an early delivery may be advised. As long as the baby is more than thirty six weeks old, and has mature lungs, there is little risk to an early delivery.
Once the baby is delivered, the issue of cholestasis clears. That being said, liver enzymes should still be checked to make sure they return to normal. Women who have had this condition in previous pregnancies have a sixty to seventy percent chance of it happening again with future pregnancies.
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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here