Medical Malpractice During Prenatal Care
Doctors and medical professionals have a duty to provide their patients with care that meets up to the accepted standard. This duty is especially important during pregnancy, when medical professionals have the lives of two (or more) people in their hands. Sadly, medical malpractice during prenatal care is not uncommon.
If proper protocols aren’t followed during prenatal care, it can lead to complications for both mother and child. These complications can have lifelong consequences. The medical malpractice lawyers at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, work with individuals in the Salt Lake City, UT, area to hold negligent medical workers accountable for the damages they cause.
Types of Prenatal Malpractice
When people think of medical malpractice in terms of pregnancy, they often consider errors made during childbirth. While it is true that a smooth labor and delivery are vital to a mother and child’s well being, errors in prenatal care can be just as damaging as those made during childbirth.
As a child develops, an obstetrician is responsible for actively monitoring and, if necessary, treating prenatal care patients. If they are neglectful in their care or make errors that would not reasonably be made by another similarly trained doctors presented with the same circumstances, it is considered medical malpractice. The most common types of prenatal malpractice are diagnosis errors and medication errors.
- Diagnostic errors: Throughout a woman’s pregnancy, she and her child should be continually monitored to check for any signs of illness, disease, or potential birth defects. A delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose can all have devastating (and potentially fatal) consequences for a mother or child. Most diagnosis errors are caused by a failure to properly monitor the patient or a failure to order appropriate testing throughout prenatal care.
- Medication errors: A woman needs to be especially careful about the types of medications that are taken during pregnancy. She must rely on medical professionals to ensure that any prescribed medications are safe to use, and that the right dosage instructions are provided. If medication errors are made, they can lead to serious complications.
Dangers of Prenatal Malpractice
Medical malpractice during prenatal care increases the risk of medical complications and poor pregnancy outcomes. Some of the potential dangers of prenatal malpractice include:
- Premature labor
- Prolonged labor
- Illness or injury in the child
- Illness or injury in the mother
- Birth injuries
- Birth defects
- Loss of pregnancy
- Death of the mother
Damages in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit vary based on the extent of illness, injury, and losses caused by medical neglect. Potential areas of compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit include:
- Medical costs
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life (for mother and/or child)
- Lost wages or diminished wage earning capacity
- Wrongful death damages (funeral and burial expenses, loss of consortium, etc.)
If you or your child has suffered physical and financial damages as a result of medical malpractice during prenatal care, the lawyers at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, can assist you in pursuing compensation for your losses. To discuss the details of your case with our legal team, send us a message online or call our Salt Lake City law firm at (801) 335-6467.