Lack of Medical Monitoring May Increase Kidney Damage During Pregnancy
Unmonitored kidney disease can worsen outcomes for pregnant women according to a new study.
In November, researchers from the University of Cincinnati presented study results at the Kidney Week conference of the American Society of Nephrology in Washington, DC. Researchers evaluated data from 42,190,790 women who were hospitalized during pregnancy between 2005 and 2015. Data was collected from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database that collects information on more than seven million American hospital stays each year.
The Kidneys Importance During Pregnancy
Your kidneys are the filtration system of your body. Shaped like beans, you have two kidneys, one on either side of your spine that carry out a complicated set of functions. Among other tasks, the kidneys manage the fluid plasma level of blood, filter blood for waste and environmental toxins, and produce hormones that help maintain homeostasis—a stable internal environment.
Because of the importance of healthy kidney function to mom and baby, lack of monitoring during the pre-natal period can have catastrophic consequences as the pregnancy progresses. Acute kidney injury (AKI) is an uncommon but severe complication of pregnancy. Injury to the kidneys can occur for a number of reasons, including:
- Vomiting associated with hyperemesis gravidarum
- Hemorrhage caused by placenta previa or other placental abnormality
- Hemorrhage following birth or rupture of the uterus
- Infection caused by retained products of conception
From their analysis, researchers were able to explore how women are treated throughout pregnancy, and made the following findings:
- The rate of kidney injury during pregnancy is trending upward with an overall rate of .08 percent. By comparison, the rate in 2006 was .04 percent
- Women who suffer AKI are sometimes older moms, or those with diabetes
- Black women are more likely to suffer AKI than pregnant women who are white
- Pregnant women are more likely to suffer AKI in the Midwest and South, and in urban teaching hospitals
- Women with AKI related to pregnancy are more likely to die while inpatient for delivery than women without kidney injury.
Women with known kidney disease are usually closely monitored by their physicians. If a physician is not evaluating for the development of kidney injury as a result of pregnancy, the long term health of both mom and baby could be at risk.
If you, or your baby, suffer a serious birth injury due to inadequate prenatal or birthing suite care, talk with an experienced malpractice attorney about your circumstances.
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