HELLP Syndrome Misdiagnosis Claims

HELLP syndrome is a cluster of conditions which can occur in the later stages of pregnancy.  HELLP is related to the onset of pre-eclampsia (whereby the blood pressure of the mother can be dangerously elevated).  HELLP syndrome can be difficult to diagnose and symptoms are often confused with other conditions.  Unfortunately, HELLP can be life-threatening to mother and baby if not diagnosed and treated early. 

If you have suffered as a result of HELLP syndrome misdiagnosis, our compassionate ‘No Win No Fee’ medical negligence solicitors will assist you in bringing a compensation claim.  We know that money cannot make up for the pain you have suffered; however, we can get you answers as to how such negligence could occur and the funds you need to access rehabilitation and other care services.

Reasons for making a HELLP Syndrome misdiagnosis claim

All healthcare professionals involved in the delivery of your baby will be trained and aware of the risk of HELLP Syndrome, especially if the mother has been diagnosed (or is at risk of) preeclampsia.  Circumstances for which you may be able to bring a HELLP Syndrome misdiagnosis compensation claim include:

  • Failure to diagnose HELLP syndrome
  • Making the wrong diagnosis
  • Delay in diagnosing and treating HELLP syndrome 
  • Providing treatment for HELLP syndrome when not required
  • Providing incorrect treatment for HELLP syndrome

If you are unsure if your HELLP syndrome misdiagnosis was technically medical negligence, contact our pregnancy-related negligence team who will listen carefully and advise if you have a valid claim.

Devonshires Claims’ highly experienced HELLP syndrome negligence Solicitors will support you through the whole process of obtaining compensation if you have experienced negligent care or treatment by a healthcare professional.  For more information or to start your free case evaluation, contact our compensation experts on  0333 577 9444, email cn@devonshires.co.uk or complete our online form.

Read our FAQs

HELLP syndrome is a life-threatening but rare liver and blood clotting condition that can affect pregnant women and is often seen in conjunction with preeclampsia.  Both preeclampsia and HELLP typically happen in the later stage of pregnancy, and may even occur after childbirth.  HELLP is an acronym, and stands for:

  • H (hemolysis – the rupture of red blood cells)
  • EL (elevated liver enzymes)
  • LP (low platelet count)

In the absence of the symptoms of preeclampsia (high blood pressure and protein in the urine), HELLP syndrome may be misdiagnosed as flu, acute hepatitis, gall bladder disease, gastritis, or a range of other conditions.

If untreated, HELLP can be life-threatening, hence why early diagnosis and treatment is essential.

The symptoms of HELLP syndrome can vary considerably between patients, however, they may include:

  • feeling unwell / fatigued
  • stomach pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • swelling of the hands or face
  • excessive and sudden weight gain
  • blurry vision, loss of vision, or other changes in vision
  • headaches
  • shoulder pain
  • pain when breathing deeply
  • confusion
  • seizures

HELLP syndrome is typically alleviated by delivering the baby.  However, the doctor overseeing your care will need to take into account the gestation period of the baby.  If the baby is typically 34 weeks or more, while they will be born prematurely, the risk of inducing birth may be considered much less than allowing the HELLP syndrome symptoms to continue.  If the baby is less than 34 weeks, other treatment may be recommended to reduce the symptoms of HELLP to enable the mother to carry the baby for longer.  These treatments may include:

  • blood transfusions (for anemia and low platelet levels)
  • blood pressure reducing medication
  • seizure preventing medication

The causes of HELLP syndrome are unknown, however the condition is seen more in mothers with existing high blood pressure, diabetes, advanced maternal age, twins (or more), and a previous history of preeclampsia.

Misdiagnosis of HELLP syndrome may can be life-threatening for mother and baby.  For the baby, this can be due to the placenta separating from the uterus and potentially lead to a lack of oxygen for your baby.

You may have a valid compensation claim due to HELLP Syndrome misdiagnosis if it can be proven:

  • The duty of care was breached – i.e. the standard of care you received in relation to HELLP syndrome fell below a satisfactory standard, and;
  • The breach caused you or your baby injuries.

If this can be established and can be backed up with evidence, you will most likely have a strong case for compensation.

By engaging the services of a specialist HELLP syndrome medical negligence claims Solicitor, the case will be handled on your behalf, including collating the necessary evidence (medical records and correspondence) and writing to the organisation responsible for your care laying out the grounds for your claim.

Yes; the ‘limitation’ period to bring a claim for medical negligence is generally three years from the incident or date of knowledge of the injury.  This means that if you only became aware of the injury weeks, months, or even years after it was caused, the three-year period may commence from then.  If you were under 18 when the misdiagnosis occurred, the three-year timescale generally only starts from your eighteenth birthday.  In rare circumstances, the Court may use their discretion to extend the limitation period, but only for exceptional reasons, so it is important to contact us as soon as possible.

Yes; Devonshires Claims can provide:

  • ‘No Win – No Fee’ claims service for HELLP Syndrome medical negligence compensation claims.
  • ‘No Win No Fee’ arrangement is also known as a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement’. Under a No Win No Fee agreement, you will not be charged any costs if your case is not successful*.

For more information on our ‘No Win – No Fee’ agreement please click here.

Medical negligence injury claims are rarely completed quickly.  The timescale for a HELLP Syndrome negligence claim will depend on the individual circumstances of your case; however, most cases commonly take between two and three years to fully conclude.  Factors which will affect how long your claim takes may include:

  • how severely you or your baby were injured
  • the prognosis
  • whether ongoing care is required
  • how much rehabilitation is needed
  • whether you require costs to cover home modifications
  • Whether the defendant admits liability (if they do, claims can usually be concluded much faster).

Compensation claims for HELLP syndrome medical negligence not only reflect the pain and suffering experienced but also:

  • Allow you to obtain justice for the mistreatment and negligence you experienced
  • Highlight failings in clinical practice, standards of care and protocols
  • Provide you and your family with an explanation of the incident and an apology if failings are acknowledged

Your compensation payment will depend on several factors:

  • Your pain and suffering
  • Your prognosis
  • The impact of the delay and / or negligence on health and your quality of life – including current and future care requirements, medical aids, home adaptations or other necessary assistance
  • Any financial losses you have experienced as a result of the injuries – including past loss of earnings, medical expenses, travel expenses and equipment costs
  • Any future financial losses, e.g. loss of earnings, loss of promotion prospects, and pension

Compensation for HELLP syndrome misdiagnosis falls into two main categories:

  • General compensation (General Damages): this includes compensation for pain and suffering and the impact of the injury on lifestyle and quality of life
  • Financial losses and expenses (Special Damages): these include the costs associated with private treatment, care support, travel expenses, other medical expenses, specialist equipment and loss of income.

Why choose our experts to support HELLP Syndrome misdiagnosis claim?

Devonshires Claims’ medical negligence and compensation claims experts will carefully assess your case and will tenaciously fight to obtain the maximum compensation for the injuries you have sustained on a ‘No Win No Fee‘ basis.  Our team are compassionate and driven, and we will put you in touch with other support services such as counsellors and clinical case managers who can help you recover.

For more information or to start your free case evaluation, contact us today on 0333 577 9444, email cn@devonshires.co.uk or complete our online form.

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