Failing To Provide Proper Prenatal Screening May Constitute Medical Malpractice

Failing To Provide Proper Prenatal Screening May Constitute Medical Malpractice

When a child is born with a birth injury, a disability or other serious health condition, parents may wonder about the cause of the irregularity and whether anything could have been done to prevent or reduce the severity of a particular condition. Additionally, when a child is born with a serious condition parents must also address questions concerning the future – i.e. what steps going forward can help provide their child the best quality of life? This may include arranging for medical assistance, home health care and significant rehabilitation efforts.

Many times with proper prenatal care and screening tests available, risk factors for developing fetal abnormalities can be determined ahead of time. The failure to provide such tests may consitute medical malpractice.

For example, ultrasounds are routinely offered between 18 and 21 weeks that monitor fetal development. These tests can reveal potential issues with brain development, neural tube defects and congenital heart formations.

Other tests include nuchal translucency measurements and genetic/chromosomal screenings such as amniocentesis, or chorionic villus sampling. Genetic disorders such as Down's Syndrome, may also be identified.

Where a serious physical or chromosomal problem is identified, parents are faced with the difficult decision whether to continue the pregnancy and also help parent prepare for any medical intervention of support the child may need after birth. This information is crucial and may affect the medical care provided during the remainder of the pregnancy and can help reduce the existing risks to a mother and baby.

Although it may not be possible for doctors to avoid all situations where a child is born with a significant disability, if a doctor fails to meet the reasonable standard of care for provide the proper prenatal care, it may be possible to bring a lawsuit for medical malpractice based on prenatal negligence seeking compensation to help pay the often substantial costs associated with meeting the needs of the disabled child.

For more information, please contact the experienced Los Angeles prenatal negligence attorneys at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.


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