Things to Know About Negligent Prenatal Care

When you're pregnant, visiting the doctor is a frequently-occurring appointment. Sadly, not every OB-GYN is the same, and some aren't as thorough as others. What do you need to know about potentially negligent doctors?

Having a baby is a momentous occasion in life for many people. It's a high-stress time for a lot of expectant parents, however, and busy, what with the frequent visits to the doctor. During those visits, moms are given tests, check-ups, and plenty of advice. At the end of the nine months, they hope to deliver a healthy, happy baby—with thanks to the doctors who helped them along the way. That's not always what happens though.

Doctors are busy people and like anyone else, they make mistakes. However, doctors need to be competent in their field and must provide proper care for their patients. With mother and baby, that responsibility is amplified. Any missteps can mean serious problems down the road. There are some things you need to know about negligent prenatal care so that if any of the such happens to you or someone you know, you can seek help rectifying the problems.

1) Some women with pregnancies classified as "high risk" should be seen by specialists.

A pregnancy is identified as being high risk for a number of reasons: advanced age of the mother, gestational diabetes presence, the mother has high blood pressure, etc. Women who are carrying such pregnancies may be referred to specialists who focus on high risk pregnancies and have experience providing care for women whose pregnancies are high risk. If a traditional obstetrician fails to recommend seeing a specialist and it's later realized the woman could have benefitted from doing so, the first doctor may be held liable for any problems caused by not visiting a fetal specialist or neonatologist.

2) Proper testing, diagnosing, and treatment is essential.

Obviously, women trust their doctors for administering the proper testing during their pregnancies. Things like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and other birth defects can be detected via different tests, and it's the doctor's responsibility to offer and conduct these types of tests. Failure to do so can not only harm the baby but the mother as well. Some conditions are treatable, but obviously only if they are diagnosed. Women should be able to count on their doctors to order the recommended testing to ensure their baby is born as healthy as possible.

3) Doctors may be held responsible for injuries that occur during birth.

Birth injuries are traumatic for everyone involved. When a doctor fails to act in a way appropriate for each specific pregnancy, it can result in permanent damage either for the baby, the mother, or both. Doctors need to be able to make quick assessments of the situation at hand when a mother is about to deliver her baby—will a cesarean section be necessary? If a baby is very big, a c-section may sometimes be advised in order to avoid brain injury or broken bones. If a doctor fails to recommend a c-section, even at the last minute, the baby may be subjected to unnecessary trauma, brain damage, or cerebral palsy. Of course, not every birth injury is related to a doctor's negligence, but the ones that are caused by medical professionals need to be attended to. Negligent doctors and other medical staff need to be held responsible for the problems they contributed to or caused.

A medical malpractice attorney will be able to help you through your difficult situation. Birth injuries and prenatal medical malpractice can have devastating effects, and malpractice lawyers have the experience necessary to help you get the compensation your deserve.

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