What are Common Birth Injuries from a Misdiagnosed Prenatal Ultrasound?
After the initial news of finding out you are pregnant, the typical next step is to start your prenatal care routine. Regular prenatal doctor visits are essential to keeping you and your baby safe and healthy. One step in prenatal care is timely prenatal ultrasound exams to measure the baby’s growth and development in the womb.
Unfortunately, errors may occur during ultrasound readings leading to an undiagnosed fetal genetic abnormality or maternal condition. If you believe you or your child’s condition was not properly diagnosed due to poor care during an ultrasound, contact a birth injury attorney to identify your rights and next steps.
What is prenatal care and when is a prenatal ultrasound conducted during pregnancy?
Women should see their obstetrician at regular intervals to receive proper monitoring of their pregnancy. These regular doctor visits are a standard of prenatal care set in place to keep you and your baby healthy, spot potential problems early and prevent potential delivery complications. Routine check ups occur:
- Once a month for weeks four through 28;
- Twice a month for weeks 28 through 36; and
- Weekly for weeks 36 to birth.
During those appointments, ultrasounds may be administered to check your baby’s growth and development. Typically, a prenatal ultrasound is conducted between 18 and 20 weeks to monitor your baby’s progress, examine the baby’s position in the womb before birth and observe any abnormalities or complications.
What are common negligent actions with a prenatal ultrasound?
Ultrasounds are an important prenatal care practice that may help your obstetrician and sonographer recognize any medical risks to you or your baby prior to delivery. However, even the best obstetrician or technician may act negligently during your ultrasound.
Common actions that may occur in a prenatal ultrasound are:
- Using old or damaged ultrasound equipment;
- Producing distorted ultrasound images;
- Misinterpreting the ultrasound results;
- Misdiagnosis of fetal or maternal conditions;
- Mistake in medical record-keeping;
- Failure to follow up with another ultrasound; or
- Failure to order additional testing or referral to a high-risk obstetrician.
What are common birth injuries that may be missed without proper ultrasounds?
Birth injuries from errors such as improper prenatal ultrasound readings usually occur if certain conditions are misdiagnosed or not properly treated during pregnancy. Failing to do so may directly result in serious birth injuries, birth defects or complications during labor.
While many injuries and conditions may result from a misdiagnosis or failure to conduct a necessary ultrasound, some common injuries are:
- Maternal infections that may lead to cerebral palsy in babies;
- Large gestational size leading to a risky vaginal delivery;
- Placental abruption or the separation of the placenta from its implantation site;
- Uterine rupture or a tear in the uterus; or
- Birth defects such a chromosomal disorder or heart defect.
If your doctor orders a prenatal ultrasound, it is their duty to read it as accurately as possible, act upon the diagnosis and treat your or your baby’s condition. If you believe there is medical malpractice involved, speak with a birth injury attorney to formulate your case.
Address your concerns with a birth injury attorney
When the unthinkable strikes during a pregnancy or birth, our birth injury attorneys are at your side to hold hospitals, doctors and other medical personnel accountable for their breach in your and your baby’s care. We fight for your family like it is one of our own by carefully guiding you through the initial investigation, settlement process and any trials that go to court.
For the sake of your family and its future, contact the attorneys at Zevan Davidson Roman for a free consultation.
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