What Is Obstetric Cholestasis?

Obstetric cholestasis, also sometimes referred to as intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, is a medical condition that specifically affects women who are pregnant. Since not a great deal was known about the condition until recent years, it was common that women were not managed properly or that they were completely misdiagnosed. This is extremely scary due to the fact that the condition can be quite serious for both the mother and her unborn baby. Even though roughly seven pregnant women out of every one thousand have this condition, it is thought that the true number is actually much higher because women still may not be properly diagnosed.
Obstetric cholestasis, or intrahepatic cholestasis (also known as ICP), causes harm because it makes the liver disrupt the flow of bile through the biliary ducts. When this occurs, bile cannot be passed through the hepatic duct, which causes problems with the absorption of fats and general digestion. The condition is most commonly noticed in the third trimester when hormones are at their peaks, and is noted by jaundice and extreme itching. There are times, however, when symptoms present in the first trimester and continue throughout the duration of the pregnancy. There is a link between a family history of liver disease and ICP, which means it could be considered hereditary.
As mentioned above, ICP is most commonly noted by bouts of extreme itching. This itching can be so intense that it causes the woman to lose sleep and have daily activities impacted. The itching is most intense on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. While jaundice is not as common, it does indicate that the condition is much more severe. Nearly twenty percent of women diagnosed with ICP are reported to have jaundice. Other far less common symptoms include a loss of appetite, fatigue, mild depression, and dark urine.
While ICP can be quite irritating and serious for the woman, it is actually far more serious for her unborn baby. This is because fetal distress, hemorrhages, premature birth, and even still birth can all result. Roughly forty four percent of women with ICP go into labor early, giving birth before thirty seven weeks has elapsed.
The best way to treat for ICP is to diagnosis the condition early. There are a number of tests that can be ordered such as a serum bile acid test, which provide very accurate results. This test in particular requires the woman to fast so that bile acid levels in the blood can be accurately measured. When these levels are elevated, the diagnosis is usually ICP.
In earlier years, ICP was commonly treated with a medication called cholestryamine, which is a drug meant to lower cholesterol. Today, this treatment is not considered to be effective for reducing bile acid levels in the blood. Because of this, a drug called Actigall is now used as it has been shown to be more effective due to the fact that it replaces bile acids found in the blood. Actigall has also been found to reduce the risk of a woman having a still birth. Vitamin K is also commonly administered as it helps to reduce complications from bleeding and helps to improve the absorption of fat soluble vitamins. When these treatments are given before thirty two weeks gestation, steroid shots are also given to help the baby’s lung develop and to head off breathing problems in case of an early delivery. Steroids also help to control the itching the woman experiences.
It is quite important that all pregnant women be monitored on a regular basis throughout their pregnancy in order to ensure everything is progressing normally and that the baby is developing adequately. If there are any signs of fetal distress, medical intervention may be required. If the baby is more than thirty six weeks, and has mature lungs, it may be necessary to deliver in order to ease the symptoms of ICP, and protect both mom and baby.
Delivering the baby cures the condition of cholestasis, but liver enzymes still need to be monitored closely until the time it is certain they are once again How To Sue A Store For Injury normal. Women who have suffered with ICP during one pregnancy have as much as a sixty to seventy percent chance of it occurring again in future pregnancies.
In the event that medical staff does not properly monitor a pregnant woman, does not adequately treat the condition of ICP, or does not diagnose ICP, serious consequences can result. These consequences can easily be avoided if medical staff is attentive and not negligent in their level of care. If it is found that the medical staff did not act in a proper manner medical negligence or malpractice may have occurred, which means the patient suffered needlessly and may have grounds for a lawsuit.
If you or someone you know has suffered with ICP, or your baby has experienced consequences because of the condition, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries. Since these cases can be somewhat complex in nature, and many states have laws and statutes of limitations that vary, it is quite important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
Personal injury attorneys who specialize in the area of medical negligence and malpractice are well suited to help you with every aspect of your case from start to finish. These professionals will work hard for you, and will take on what often Negligence Lawsuit Cases seems like the massive legal team that protects medical professionals. From collecting medical records, to filing documents, and everything in between, personal injury attorneys take care of everything so you can focus on your recovery.
What’s more, personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency basis, which means you do not have to pay anything up front, or worry about how to fund your claim as it progresses through the legal system. Do not hesitate to seek compensation for your injuries, and do not try to go through this process alone. Personal injury attorneys are here to help and can get you the justice you deserve.

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