Birth injury due to errors in diagnosis
Every pregnant woman knows that receiving proper prenatal care during her pregnancy is an essential part of delivering a healthy baby. But when medical professionals fail to provide pregnant women and their unborn babies with the care they need, such failures can lead to significant risks both to the mother and the child.
It is practically universally accepted among medical professionals that proper prenatal care is essential for giving families the best opportunity to deliver a healthy baby. Typical services included in prenatal care include:
- Your doctor taking into account any current health conditions from which you may be suffering such as diabetes, allergies, hypertension, or other chronic conditions, and modifying your medications so as to minimize potential risk to the developing baby.
- Your doctor reviewing your health history to help identify any risk factors for your pregnancy.
- Your doctor ordering tests, such as genetic testing, when he or she believes certain risk factors for disease may be present.
- Your doctor recommending prenatal vitamins, such as folic acid.
Common Medical Diagnosis Errors
When your doctor and attending medical professionals fail to provide you with proper prenatal care, such errors may lead to your baby suffering from a preventable medical condition. Diagnosis errors, in which your doctor does not properly diagnose medical conditions threatening your baby, are particularly dangerous.
Common medical diagnoses errors include:
- Failure to diagnose – When your attending medical professionals, such as your obstetrician, fail to diagnose a potentially dangerous medical condition affecting your baby, the results can be catastrophic. Such failures to diagnose can happen at any stage during the pregnancy and can result in significant birth injury, and even death of the child.
- Delayed diagnosis – When it comes to diagnosing potentially dangerous pregnancy complications, time is of the essence. When your physician initially fails to diagnose an illness or complication, but then later correctly recognizes and diagnoses the situation, the elapsed time may mean the difference between having successfully treated the condition, and your baby suffering from a preventable birth injury.
- Misdiagnosis – When your physician recognizes that there may be a problem with your pregnancy, but erroneously misclassifies the complication, the result is a misdiagnosis. Misdiagnoses can be extremely harmful, as treatment options generally follow the diagnosis. An erroneous diagnosis can lead to potentially harmful treatments, and at the same time leave the actual ailment untreated.
- Failure to document – Failure to document occurs when your physician does not properly document and record all relevant information relating to your pregnancy and your baby’s condition. Such missing information may result in difficulties in determining which tests to order or which treatment options to prescribe.