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Navigating uncertainty: Signs that prenatal care may have fallen short

On Behalf of | May 31, 2024 | Firm News

Pregnancy is a joyous time, but it can also be filled with anxieties, especially when complications arise. Ideally, your OBGYN acts as a trusted guide, ensuring the health of both you and your developing baby. However, in some cases, medical mistakes can occur during prenatal care, leading to devastating consequences.

While a difficult birth or negative outcome doesn’t always indicate malpractice, certain signs might warrant further investigation. Here’s what you should know about potential red flags in prenatal care.

Understanding malpractice: Deviation from the standard

Medical malpractice in obstetrics occurs when a healthcare provider overseeing your pregnancy deviates from the accepted standard of care in their profession. This deviation leads to harm to you or your baby. It’s important to remember that not every negative outcome is due to malpractice.

However, some situations raise a cause for concern:

  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis: Missing a critical health condition in the mother or baby, like preeclampsia or a congenital disability, can have serious consequences.
  • Failure to order appropriate tests: Not conducting necessary screenings or misinterpreting test results can lead to missed diagnoses or delayed interventions.
  • Improper monitoring of pregnancy: Inadequate monitoring of fetal development or maternal health issues can increase risks during pregnancy and delivery.
  • Incorrect administration of medication: Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage during pregnancy can harm both mother and baby.
  • Improper use of instruments during delivery: Forceps or vacuum extraction, if used unnecessarily or improperly, can cause injuries to the mother or baby.

This list is not exhaustive, and every situation is unique. Consulting with a medical malpractice attorney is crucial if you have concerns about your prenatal care.

When to seek professional guidance

If you suspect your OBGYN may have committed malpractice, here are some signs that might warrant seeking professional legal advice:

  • Your child suffered a birth injury that could have been prevented with proper prenatal care.
  • You experienced serious complications during pregnancy or delivery that you believe were mishandled.
  • You have medical records indicating a missed diagnosis or a failure to follow standard protocols.
  • You feel you were not adequately informed about potential risks or treatment options during your pregnancy.

Medical malpractice cases are complex and often require expert medical review to determine if the standard of care was breached. A medical malpractice lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and determine if you have a case.

Protecting yourself and your baby: Moving forward

Prenatal care is vital for ensuring a healthy pregnancy and delivery. While complications can arise, understanding potential signs of malpractice empowers you to seek answers and potentially hold negligent healthcare providers accountable.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Maintain thorough medical records: Keep copies of all your prenatal records, including test results, doctor notes and hospital discharge summaries.
  • Ask questions and voice your concerns: Don’t hesitate to ask your OBGYN questions about your care and any potential risks.
  • Seek second opinions: If you feel uncomfortable with your OBGYN’s approach, get a second opinion from another healthcare provider.

Remember, you have the right to quality healthcare during pregnancy. By staying informed and advocating for yourself, you can help ensure a healthy outcome for you and your baby.