Obstetrical errors committed by any one member of the obstetrical team can be the cause of birth trauma and result in a birth injury that subjects a newborn to suffer lifelong physical and/or mental limitations and sometimes death. Although not all birth injuries are avoidable, those injuries directly attributable to errors committed by a member of the obstetrical team are usually preventable and the direct result of medical malpractice (negligence). Obstetrical errors can influence the outcome of a pregnancy before and during labor.
Over the past few decades, prenatal care includes the fetus as a patient rather than a passive recipient of medical care to the pregnant woman. In addition to genetic birth defects, fetal surveillance to ensure a proper intrauterine environment is the responsibility of the obstetrician or nurse midwife providing prenatal care to a woman. Prior to labor, obstetrical errors are usually the result of improper prenatal testing or monitoring. They include:
Failure to properly date a pregnancy
Failure to provide genetic counseling
Failure to assess the estimated weight of the fetus
Failure to evaluate for decreased fetal movement in-utero
Failure to evaluate preexisting medical problems affecting a pregnancy
Failure to assess for postmaturity
Failure to ensure the intrauterine well-being of the fetus
Failure to refer a high risk obstetrical patient to a specialist
Obstetrical errors during the third trimester of pregnancy prior to the onset of labor include:
Failure to treat a maternal condition resulting in maternal morbidity and/or maternal mortality
Obstetrical ultrasound during the third trimester of pregnancy is the single most valuable test to identify structural anomalies, abnormal growth patterns, estimating accurate gestational age and assessing fetal well-being (movement, respiratory movements, amniotic fluid volume).
If the child's injury was the result of intrauterine fetal hypoxia (asphyxia or birth trauma), that was diagnosable, avoidable and preventable, you may have a valid cause of action. The injury may be the result of a medical provider's mistake in handling an obstetrical condition. Your child and you as parents of the child are entitled to receive compensation. If your child's condition was the result of medical negligence, allow Dr. Borten and the Boston area medical malpractice attorneys at Gorovitz & Borten help you assert your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
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