A high-risk pregnancy is one in which some condition puts the mother, the developing fetus, or both at higher-than-normal risk for complications during or after the pregnancy and birth. If a problem during or after the pregnancy is not detected by a doctor, the baby may suffer serious and often long-lasting consequences, including heart murmurs and other serious conditions.
As an experienced birth-injury attorney, Jeffrey Killino can help you understand whether your high-risk pregnancy was properly managed by health-care professionals and the birth injury your child may have sustained as a result. He and his outstanding legal team know how complicated a high-risk pregnancy can be and will investigate the causes of your child’s birth injury to determine if negligent medical care during your high-risk pregnancy is to blame.
Experienced Attorneys Who Know Birth Injuries
High-risk pregnancies are stressful enough on parents, but when you add a preventable birth injury to the mix, the anguish experienced by parents may become nearly unbearable. Attorney Killino has the knowledge, determination, and compassion to research your case and find out whether medical malpractice occurred. Contact us today at 877-875-2927 for a no-cost evaluation of your legal rights and alternatives.
Every pregnancy carries some risks to both mother and child, but such risks are far greater when a pregnancy is one of high risk. Complications and injuries can result from conditions the mother had when her pregnancy began or conditions that develop during the pregnancy. They may also develop as a result of a mother’s behavior. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a mother’s consumption of alcohol may put her pregnancy in the high-risk category.
Carrying more than one baby, previous problem pregnancies, gestational diabetes, a mother over the age of 35 or under the age of 15, or prenatal tests indicating the existence of a serious health problem in the fetus may also lead to a diagnosis of a high-risk pregnancy. Problems associated with high-risk pregnancies can stem from a variety of sources, such as failure to diagnose conditions in the mother or child that can lead to serious injuries or death for either the mother or child.
Legal Liability for High-risk Pregnancy Injuries
The negligent failure to diagnose or properly manage a high-risk treatment may result in serious injuries or death to the fetus or to the mother and result in liability on the part of the obstetrician whose negligence is determined to have been a cause of such injuries.
Failure to Diagnose a High-risk Pregnancy
In some cases, an obstetrician or other physician fails to diagnose a high-risk pregnancy altogether, which can have severe and even permanent consequences. Obstetricians are trained to screen for and detect conditions and problems that would lead to a high-risk diagnosis. Prenatal tests may indicate that a fetus has a serious health problem, for instance, to which the physician will need to respond in order to protect the fetus’s health. The prescription of medication to the mother may be needed for the mother to safely carry the baby through to delivery. Certain maternal or fetal problems may even require a physician to deliver a baby early, or to choose a surgical delivery (Caesarean section) rather than a vaginal delivery.
Other conditions that physicians should look for in evaluating the risk level of a woman’s pregnancy include the mother’s high blood pressure, the mother’s pre-eclampsia, and the size of the fetus. A fetus may grow to a size larger than normal for its gestational age due to mother’s obesity or diabetes, for example. Her physician’s failure to consider the high risks associated with these conditions may be found to constitute a negligent failure to diagnose a high-risk pregnancy.
If any of the above-referenced, or other, failures to diagnose occur and are found to result from a physician’s or other medical professional’s negligence, the medical professional and, in some cases, the professional’s employer, may be found liable for the damages suffered by the mother and child in a medical-malpractice action.
Failure to Properly Manage or Treat a High-risk Pregnancy
A physician’s or obstetrician’s failure to manage or properly treat a diagnosed high-risk pregnancy may also result in injury to the mother or fetus and liability on the part of those whose negligence caused their injuries. If a woman is carrying more than one fetus, for example, and a high-risk pregnancy was diagnosed as a result, the woman’s obstetrician has a duty to carefully monitor the fetuses throughout the pregnancy so that any fetal distress or other fetal conditions may be detected and responded to in a timely manner.
Larger-than-normal fetuses will also require special care by the physician during labor and delivery. A failure to take precautions against shoulder dystocia, for instance, may be held to constitute actionable negligence on the part of medical professionals and resulting liability for the injuries sustained by the baby as a result.
In many cases, diagnosis of a high-risk pregnancy may necessitate consultation with and supervision by a specialist, as all high-risk pregnancies require expert knowledge and care. Complications in any pregnancy require immediate attention, and far more complications are likely to arise when a pregnancy is high-risk.
When the negligence of medical personnel in the diagnosis or treatment of your high-risk pregnancy leads to complications and injury, you may be entitled to compensation through the institution of legal action.
If your obstetrician failed to diagnose your high-risk pregnancy or failed to diagnose and properly treat complications of your high-risk pregnancy, you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries you or your child sustained as a result. Contact experienced birth-injury attorney Jeffrey Killino at (877) 875-2927 or fill out the email form below to learn more about your legal options.