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What is Peripartum Cardiomyopathy?

Understanding Heart Failure During Pregnancy

Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a form of heart failure that typically occurs during the last month of pregnancy or up to five months after giving birth. Although it's a rare heart condition, a pregnant woman with PPCM may not know she has it since the warning signs can be mistaken for third-trimester pregnancy symptoms. Here's what you need to know.

The Warning Signs of Peripartum Cardiomyopathy

Peripartum Cardiomyopathy can mimic some symptoms often associated with third-trimester pregnancy. Here are the warning signs to watch out for:

  • Swelling in the feet and legs.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Prolonged swelling after delivery.
  • Fatigue.
  • Increased urination (especially at night).
  • Swollen neck veins.
  • Low blood pressure or drop in blood pressure when standing up.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, speak to your health care provider as soon as possible.

How is PPCM Diagnosed?

PPCM is diagnosed when doctors recognize the following:

  • Heart failure that occurs in the last month of pregnancy or within five months of delivery.
  • Reduced heart pumping function with an ejection fraction below 45%.
  • No other cause for heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction is found.

Other tests may be ordered as part of an evaluation to make a PPCM diagnosis, such as kidney, liver, and thyroid function tests, as well as blood work to rule out anemia or infections.

Did Health Complications Cause a Birth Injury? We Can Help.

You do your best to follow your doctor's advice on keeping a healthy pregnancy. However, when health complications arise due to improper prenatal monitoring and care, it can be stressful and devastating. If you or your baby has suffered a birth injury due to a medical professional's negligence, you have the right to hold them accountable.

At Bandas Law Firm, P.C., we understand how pregnancy and birth complications can be a stressful event, not only worry about medical recovery but also adding heavy financial burdens to you and your family. We are here to help you pursue compensation for medical professionals' careless acts so you can have peace of mind knowing your child's future care and medical needs are covered.

Contact us today at (505) 393-6303 to learn how we can assist you.