Women who experience negligent prenatal care are significantly more likely to suffer serious complications, potentially resulting in injuries or even death to the mother, her baby or both. Pregnancy is stressful enough, and no woman should have to worry that her obstetrician or other medical professionals may provide inadequate or negligent care. Unfortunately, the frequency of such incidents is on the rise, thanks in part to shrinking insurance benefits and overworked doctors and nurses. Negligence resulting in health problems for the mother or the baby may be grounds for a malpractice claim against those responsible for the mother’s prenatal care.
Effective Prenatal Care Treatment
Proper prenatal care typically involves an obstetrics team, including doctors, nurses, ultrasound technicians, and in some cases, medical specialists. This team is responsible for the early detection and appropriate management of any risks to the health of mother and baby. Regular checkups, bloodwork, routine tests and ultrasounds are key to identifying potential risks. Proper follow-up and treatment for any identified pregnancy conditions and complications can help to prevent critical health problems from developing.
Risks to Mother’s Health
Negligence is often the reason that medical professionals miss critical health factors and symptoms that can place a pregnant woman at higher risk for complications. An undetected ectopic pregnancy, for example, can cause life-threatening blood loss. Or doctors may neglect to recognize and treat hypertension or gestational diabetes, which can lead to preeclampsia or other severe medical problems for the mother. Dangerous health conditions may also develop if medical professionals fail to properly diagnose and treat infections during the pregnancy. Negligent care that leaves the mother with long-term or even irreversible health issues may be justification for a medical malpractice claim.
Risks to Baby’s Health
The actions or inactions of the obstetrical team directly affect the fetal development and health of the baby. A folic acid deficiency can cause spina bifida, for instance, and nutritional deficiencies or infections can lead to other significant lifelong health issues for the baby. Poor prenatal treatment may also result in premature birth, fetal stroke or brain disorders like cerebral palsy. A failure to notice or address fetal distress can, in some cases, lead to the wrongful death of the baby.
Every pregnant woman deserves quality medical care for both herself and her baby. Unfortunately, some women end up facing the consequences of negligent medical treatment. When preventable pregnancy complications cause adverse health effects or infant death, a medical malpractice claim may be appropriate. If you or your baby has suffered a serious medical problem, contact the experienced professionals at Rasmussen and Miner to explore your options in response to negligent prenatal care.