Can You File for Medical Malpractice For Prenatal Care Neglect
Doctors who specialize in prenatal care have a specific responsibility to ensure that a woman’s pregnancy goes as planned. Fortunately, most women in the US have access to good prenatal care that helps ensure their babies will be born without problems. When the mother experiences complications, most doctors can help care for both mother and baby to avoid any injuries.
Unfortunately, some doctors don’t provide prenatal care that ends with successful delivery. When a doctor or other healthcare provider neglects to provide the accepted standard of care to a woman and baby during the pregnancy, it could lead to medical malpractice.
The Standard Of Care
The basis of a standard of care is the same care that any other physician or health care provider would provide to a patient under the same circumstances. Neglecting to follow this standard of care could result in injuries to the baby or injuries/illnesses that could impact both the mother and the baby.For instance, once a woman has missed a cycle, she should schedule doctor visits as follows:• For the first six to seven months of pregnancy, once every four weeks.• For weeks 31 through 37, every other week• From week 37 through the date of delivery, every 7 daysDoctors who do not adhere to this schedule risk insufficient prenatal care for a pregnant patient.
Failure To Diagnose
When a physician diagnoses a medical condition, it can be dangerous for both if left untreated. The earlier the condition is found, the better the outcome. Conditions such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, high or low blood pressure, and hypoglycemia require treatment to reduce the impact on the developing infant.For instance, preeclampsia develops after the 20th week of pregnancy, and the risk of developing increases the farther along with the pregnancy. A doctor should monitor blood pressure, protein levels in the urine, other symptoms of kidney problems, and other signs. Usually, medication is prescribed to lower blood pressure and manage other potential problems. Delivery of the baby is usually recommended. Left untreated, it could lead to complications, including the death of both the mother and baby.Contagious illnesses also need treatment to avoid transmission to the baby. But if the healthcare provider overlooks any indicators, the baby could have lifelong medical problems.Other failures of diagnosis include:• Ectopic pregnancy, in which a fetus grows inside of a fallopian tube instead of the uterus, is identifiable with the usual testing. Without treatment, both mother and baby are at serious risk for blood loss, cord compression, and death.• Birth defects, such as spina bifida, an incorrect formation of the spine and spinal cord. This condition can be corrected during pregnancy if identified and treated early enough.• Gestational diabetes can lead to a larger baby that may require a C-section to avoid birth problems. If the doctor neglects to monitor the condition and doesn’t advise the mother about the C-section, this could lead to a prolonged birth process and lead to brain damage to the baby.Nearly any condition that would have been detected through proper prenatal medical care may be the basis of a medical malpractice claim.
Proving Your Case
For a patient to bring a birth injury or other prenatal medical malpractice case, these four factors require proof:1. You had a doctor-patient relationship, and the malpractice occurred during that relationship with prescribed treatment2. The negligence of the provider3. The negligence led to the malpractice injuries4. That you and/or your baby were injured as a resultPrior to filing a claim, the state of Missouri requires the filing of an affidavit signed by another healthcare provider indicating that the defendant failed to provide adequate healthcare, and that failure led to your injuries. You must file this affidavit within 90 days of filing your lawsuit, or your case will likely be dismissed.Missouri also has a two-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases.
KC’s Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Contact Kansas City’s most trusted birth defects, medical malpractice, and personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation. Remember, we don’t ask for lawyer fees until you win your case. Call us now at (816) 221-2288 or visit our downtown office.