Negligent care during childbirth can result in permanent injuries or even death for the child or mother. This is known as birth injury medical malpractice. However, negligent care before the birth of the child can also constitute medical malpractice if it results in an injury. This is known as negligent prenatal care, and the resulting injuries could prove harmful to the pregnancy. Negligent prenatal care is often a failure to diagnose a condition that could be detrimental to the pregnancy, the results of which are only discovered once the pregnancy has been completed. The following are some examples of negligent prenatal care.
Examples of Negligent Prenatal Care
Failure to Diagnose the Mother’s Medical Condition
There are a variety of pregnancy related medical conditions that could affect the mother. These include:
- Gestational diabetes
- Rh incompatibility
A failure to diagnose these or other medical conditions that leads to injury would constitute medical malpractice.
Failure to Diagnose a Birth Defect
A health care provider has the obligation to identify birth defects that may occur during the pregnancy. If it were reasonable for them to have been able to identify a birth defect but they failed to do so, this would be considered medical malpractice.
Failure to Identify an Ectopic Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the embryo does not implant itself but in another location such as a fallopian tube. Failure to identify this would be medical malpractice.
Failure to Diagnose a Contagious Disease
If the mother has a disease that could be contagious to the fetus which goes undiagnosed, this would constitute medical malpractice.