Obstetric Cholestasis 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 any complication like this has happened to you and you believe it was caused by a misdiagnosis on the part of a medical professional, the expert solicitors at JMW can help you make a successful claim for compensation.

Contact the expert solicitors about your obstetric cholestasis claim today and we will advise you on what to do next. We can provide the guidance you need to reach the outcome you deserve. Either call us on 0800 054 6512 or complete our online enquiry form and we will give you a call back as soon as we can.

Obstetric Cholestasis Explained

Obstetric cholestasis, sometimes called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), is a potentially serious liver disorder that can sometimes develop while a woman is pregnant.

For reasons not fully understood, bile salts that are normally excreted by the liver build up in the blood and cause intense itching of the skin, particularly on the palms 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 and this leads to the build up.

Although there is no cure for the condition, it does clear up once the baby has been born.


Symptoms are most severe during the third trimester, although they sometimes occur earlier. In many cases, itching is the only symptom. Mild jaundice can also occur, but in many cases it does not. As a degree of itching is often associated with a normal pregnancy, diagnosis of obstetric cholestasis is sometimes missed.

Other symptoms associated with the condition include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Physical fatigue
  • Mental fatigue

Again, these symptoms are also common in many normal pregnancies. However, blood tests of liver function (LFTs) and bile levels (serum bile acid test) can be conducted and will usually lead to a definite diagnosis.

Those Most at Risk

You may be more at risk of obstetric cholestasis if:

  • There is family history of the condition
  • You are of Indian or Pakistani origin
  • You have suffered from it in a previous pregnancy

The Risks

Obstetric cholestasis rarely has any long-term consequences for the mother and the itching usually disappears within a week or two of delivery. However, if the condition goes undiagnosed, there is greater likelihood of premature labour or stillbirth. A planned early delivery at between 35 and 38 weeks will generally 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.

Why Choose JMW?

The team at JMW will treat your claim with the importance and sensitivity it deserves. We have dealt with many cases of this type and always work hard to ensure you are in the best possible position to secure the outcome you are after.

Our clinical negligence team is headed by leading solicitor Eddie Jones and is one of the most highly regarded teams throughout the UK. It includes members of the Law Society's specialist panel for clinical negligence the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors' panel.

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Speak to the team at JMW for free initial advice on your obstetric cholestasis claim and we will guide you through what you can expect to happen next. We are here to answer any questions you may have. Either call us on 0800 054 6512 or complete our online enquiry form and we will be in contact as soon as possible.


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