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Obstetric Cholestasis Negligence Claims
Obstetric cholestasis is a rare condition of the liver that can occur in otherwise healthy women during pregnancy. If the condition is not diagnosed, it can greatly increase the risk of premature labour and stillbirth.
If your condition has gone undiagnosed or been misdiagnosed by a medical professional, and it led to further complications, the expert clinical negligence solicitors at JMW can help you make a claim for compensation.
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Itching is the most common symptom of obstetric cholestasis, but is also often associated with a normal pregnancy, meaning diagnosis of the disorder is sometimes missed. If doctors fail to appropriately diagnose and manage the condition, and your baby is affected, this will amount to medical negligence, meaning you can make a claim.
JMW’s clinical negligence team will treat your claim with the importance and sensitivity it deserves, while ensuring you are in the best possible position to secure the best possible outcome. We will guide you through the legal process, explaining the options that are available to you and providing advice to help you make the best decisions in regards to your claim.
Our medical negligence solicitors, led by Eddie Jones, form one of the most highly regarded teams in the UK, with members on the Law Society’s specialist panel of clinical negligence solicitors and the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors panel.
What is obstetric cholestasis?
Obstetric cholestasis, sometimes called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), is a serious liver disorder that can sometimes develop in pregnant women.
For reasons not fully understood, bile salts, which are normally excreted by the liver, build up in the blood causing intense itching of the skin, particularly on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. These bile salts usually flow to your gut from the liver and assist with food digestion. However, in some instances, the bile salts do not flow as they are meant to, which leads to the build-up.
Although there is no cure for the condition, it does clear up once the baby has been born.
What are the symptoms of obstetric cholestasis?
In many cases, itching on the hands and feet are the only symptoms; however, mild jaundice can occur in rare cases. Other symptoms associated with the condition can include:
- Physical fatigue
- Mental fatigue
Again, these symptoms are common in many normal pregnancies. For more information on the symptoms of obstetric cholestasis, visit the NHS website.
Who is at risk of obstetric cholestasis?
You may be more at risk of obstetric cholestasis if:
- There is a family history of the condition
- You are of Indian or Pakistani origin
- You have suffered from the disorder in a previous pregnancy
What are the risks of obstetric cholestasis?
The condition rarely has any long-term consequences for the mother, with the itching generally disappearing within a week or two of delivery. However, if obstetric cholestasis goes undiagnosed there is a greater likelihood of premature labour or stillbirth. A planned early delivery between 35 and 38 weeks will usually avoid these complications, which is why a correct early diagnosis is so important.
The condition tends to increase in severity with subsequent pregnancies, making even earlier delivery of the baby necessary, and there is an increased risk of it occurring with twins.