Reducing and preventing incidence of maternal and fetal mortality and morbidity is the responsibility of obstetrical and fetal medical care personnel. Injuries to the mother or newborn that occur as a result of a doctor's failure to meet accepted standards of care can be grounds for a claim of medical malpractice.
Effective obstetrical and fetal medical care requires early identification of women with high risk pregnancies and high risk infants, followed by appropriate antenatal and intrapartum care. The best way to provide this level of care is a coordinated, organized perinatal program that includes before, during, and after birth care.
Studies have shown that obtaining effective prenatal care significantly reduce the incidence of maternal and fetal mortality and morbidity.
What is Effective Prenatal Care?
A successful prenatal care program should include:
- Recording of detailed medical history
- Appropriate physical and laboratory exams
- Risk assessment
- Management of any arising complications
Beyond simply obtaining prenatal care, the ultimate usefulness of the care depends on what is done after risks are determined during examination. Failure to manage complications identified by prenatal care is a valid claim for medical malpractice. Examples of serious and life threatening complications that doctors are responsible for treating in prenatal care include:
- Gestational Diabetes
- Ectopic Pregnancies
- Identification of potential birth defects
- Pregnancy Induced Hypertension
- Atypical fetal growth
Medical Malpractice Liability
Reliable tests and evaluation criteria exist to determine the existence of any of these complications. Medical doctors are duty bound to consider these potential risks during prenatal care and to take appropriate measures to treat any issue that arises. The courts have indicated that failure to do so can subject them to medical malpractice liability.
Do You Need an Attorney Experienced with Medical Malpractice?
If you or a loved one have been injured by obstetrical medical malpractice, you should speak to a personal injury attorney immediately to learn more about the value of your case and what types of recoveries are available to you.