When complications arise during a pregnancy or during the labor and delivery process, it can be physically exhausting and emotionally devastating to the expectant parents. While every parent hopes for a healthy pregnancy that is free of complications, that does not always happen. In some cases, the mother or the child can become seriously injured as a result of a health complication. However, if an injury or other negative outcome is caused by a physician’s failure to provide the exceptional care that every patient deserves, it is highly recommended that the patient file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Examples of Pregnancy Malpractice
In 2016, a baby was born every eight seconds in the United States alone, according to U.S. News. While many of these births were successful, others involved serious complications, some of which were caused by negligent prenatal care. The following are examples of pregnancy malpractice:
Diagnosis Errors: If a physician fails to diagnose a condition, makes an incorrect diagnosis, or makes a delayed diagnosis, it can have serious, even fatal consequences. In many cases, if the medical issue is not treated immediately, it can become much more serious, even life-threatening. In addition, if the mother has a contagious disease that goes undiagnosed, such as genital herpes or neonatal lupus, it can be passed on to the unborn child. Examples of conditions that should be identified early in a pregnancy include:
– Gestational diabetes
– High levels of Bilirubin
Birth Defects: A physician is also responsible for checking the unborn baby for potential birth defects, including Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, Sickle Cell Disease, hemophilia, Cystic fibrosis, or Tay-Sachs Disease. The parents should be notified immediately if tests reveal any of these conditions.
Medication Errors: If a patient is given an incorrect medication, or the wrong dosage amount of a medication, it can cause serious complications for the mother and the unborn baby. In addition to errors by physicians or nurses administering the medication, errors can occur when equipment like defibrillators or intravenous pumps malfunction.
Birth Injuries: These can be extremely devastating if the injury is severe. For example, failure to properly monitor fetal vital signs can have life-threatening complications. In addition, if the physician did not use the forceps or the vacuum extractor correctly, it can cause brain and nerve damage.
Pregnancy Complications: If the pregnancy is not properly and frequently monitored, the physician can easily miss a symptom or disease, including preeclampsia, ectopic pregnancy, uterine rupture, or pregnancy-induced hypertension.