When you discover that you’re having a baby, one of the first steps to take is to set up an appointment with your OB. Prenatal care is an essential step in ensuring that both you and the baby are healthy throughout the pregnancy. It also helps you to make difficult decisions in the event of complications that may arise during the pregnancy.
We trust doctors and other healthcare providers to carry out their duties professionally. We entrust them with our lives and the lives of the unborn. They are responsible for identifying any risks and detecting any problems during the pregnancy. Prenatal tests are run to ensure that complications are identified early. Some complications that can be identified through prenatal testing include:
- Gestational diabetes
- High bilirubin levels
Many of these conditions can be fatal to either or both the child and the mother if not dealt with on a timely basis. Identifying these risks early can help doctors and mothers take the necessary precautions to avoid further complications or death.
Prenatal testing also helps to determine the health status of the unborn child. These tests can help to identify birth defects such as:
- Sickle cell anemia
- Down syndrome
- Cystic fibrosis
- Spina bifida
This information can help parents and health care professionals determine the best way forward. It can help them decide whether to perform a C-section for example, in order to provide the baby with the treatment it needs much sooner.
When doctors are liable for errors
Doctors and other health care professionals are human. They make mistakes every now and then. However, if the mistakes arise as a result of negligence on their part, they can be held liable for the resulting injuries.
One common form of negligence is not carrying out prenatal tests when faced with certain risk factors including:
- High blood pressure in pregnant women
- Clinically obese pregnant women
- Women who are having their first child after the age of 35
- A family history of down syndrome
- Women who have had complications in previous pregnancies
- A family history of diabetes or heart disease.
Doctors can be held liable for:
- Wrongful birth
Wrongful birth is a claim brought against the doctor by parents whose children are born with defects or conditions that could have been detected in prenatal resting. Parents can sue doctors for not detecting the problems and not giving them the chance to decide what steps to take with the pregnancy.
Doctors can be held liable for injuries that patients suffer as a result of poor or no prenatal testing.
It is important to show that the doctor was negligent. It is therefore best to seek the assistance of a professional and experienced attorney.