When most people think of a birth injury caused by medical malpractice, we may think of labor and delivery complications. Typically people will think of oxygen deprivation during the birthing process or the pulling of a newborn baby causing a nerve injury. While these are more common types of birth injury medical malpractice cases, there are other types of negligent actions that a physician or healthcare provider can cause which will result in a birth injury due to medical malpractice.
This includes prenatal care, or injuries caused while the baby (fetus) is still developing inside of the mother. Prenatal injuries caused by the negligence of healthcare providers can result in serious injury or death of the baby, but also serious injury or death of the mother. This can be catastrophic to a family and place a significant emotional and financial burden on a family—especially if the mother was the breadwinner of the family.
There are some common types of prenatal care which can result in serious personal injuries. This includes the following:
Failing to Diagnose a Medical Condition of the Mother - when the medical providers fail to diagnose a medical condition of the mother, it can obviously effect the developing fetus. Some dangerous conditions which must be diagnosed or could result in medical malpractice are preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, hypoglycemia, or other related conditions.
Failure to Diagnose a Contagious Disease of the Mother - there are some contagious diseases that the mother could have which could affect the baby during birth or development, including infecting the baby permanently or causing serious health complications. This includes genital herpes, lupus, and other related STDs. These are all conditions that can be easily managed by a health care provider but, when missed or improperly handled, can be life-threatening to the fetus.
Failure to Identify and Correct Birth Defect - There are some birth defects which may be treated in utero before they become irreversible or cause significant damage to the developing fetus. This includes spina bifida, in certain circumstances, which can be corrected or mitigated by early and aggressive treatment.
Failure to Diagnose an Ectopic Pregnancy - an ectopic pregnancy is very dangerous for the mother and fetus, and can easily result in the death of both if not treated. This is a pregnancy which occurs in the mother’s fallopian tubes rather than the uterus. This can result in massive bleeding and cord compression. If an ectopic pregnancy is missed, the ramifications of this medical malpractice are grave.
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