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When you are sick, you want your North Adams doctor to be able to identify what the problem is and get you the prescription or the procedure that gets you back on your feet. Pregnancy issues can be different, though. Although your OB/GYN runs tests and watches for common threats to you and your baby, most do not have the critical specialization that prepares them for identifying and dealing with certain high-risk complications. At Donovan O’Connor & Dodig, LLP, we have counseled many patients who suffered long-term health problems because of a missed diagnosis during pregnancy.

According to the American Heart Association, one of the highest causes of maternal death in the U.S. is cardiovascular disease, and many physicians are not trained to recognize the warning signs. Cardiologists recommend that obstetricians and other health care providers who treat pregnant women adopt a method specifically for identifying cardiovascular risk factors. When the chances of complications are high, experts believe patients should be referred to a specialist. Some indications that a woman could have or develop heart problems during pregnancy include high blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes and obesity. Older women also have an increased likelihood of cardiac arrest.

In the United States, maternal cardiac arrest is most often caused by severe infection, amniotic fluid in the mother’s bloodstream, bleeding and heart failure. One in approximately 12,000 American women who check in to the hospital for delivery suffer cardiac arrest. Although six in 10 of these women survive, those who are not in a health care facility when the emergency occurs may have a much lower chance of survival. For more information about failure to diagnose heart disease, please visit our webpage.