Failure to Diagnose Conditions During Pregnancy

August 29, 2017 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Failure to Diagnose Conditions During Pregnancy

Representing Birth Injury Victims after a Failed or Delayed Diagnosis of a Pregnancy Condition

An important part of proper prenatal care is monitoring the health of the pregnant women and identifying any health conditions that must be treated to prevent injuries or complications. However, all too often, a doctor you thought you could trust fails to diagnose a prenatal condition, depriving you of the treatment or management you needed to keep you and your child safe.

When a doctor fails to diagnose a condition that should have been discovered and birth injuries result, Florida law allows anyone injured to hold the doctor liable for medical malpractice. While birth injuries are a common basis for medical malpractice claims, these cases can be extremely complicated.

If you believe that you or your child was injured because a pregnancy condition was not diagnosed, you need a highly experienced legal team on your side. Please call the birth injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for a free consultation today.

Commonly Undiagnosed Conditions that can Lead to Birth Injuries

There are many different conditions that can occur during a pregnancy that should be properly diagnosed to prevent unnecessary complications and birth injuries. Doctors should know when to conduct tests for these conditions and when to identify whether additional risks need to be addressed due to a diagnosed condition.

If certain conditions go undiagnosed and a mother does not receive necessary treatment or arrangements are not made for a safe birth, it commonly results in serious injuries to the child, mother, or both. The following are some conditions that regularly go undiagnosed and result in birth injuries:

Anemia - A pregnant woman's body should produce extra blood to provide support for the baby. Anemia can be caused by insufficient iron, folate, vitamin B12, or other nutrients, and will cause a reduction in the production of red blood cells, which will prevent proper oxygen and nutrients from reaching the child. Untreated anemia can cause preterm labor, low birth weight, and birth defects.

Maternal infections - Pregnant women can be more susceptible to certain types of infections, and pregnancy may worsen such infections. If undiagnosed and untreated, infections can cause miscarriage, preterm labor, and sometimes life-threatening complications for the mother. In addition, some infections may be passed on to the baby through the placenta, and this can cause serious birth defects.

Gestational diabetes - Developing diabetes during pregnancy is relatively common and can be controlled if properly diagnosed and treated. However, if your gestational diabetes is not discovered and treated, many complications may occur for the baby. These include high birth weight, preterm birth, respiratory distress syndrome, hypoglycemia, and increased risk for type-2 diabetes.

Preeclampsia - This condition can prevent sufficient blood flow to the placenta and lead to the potentially dangerous condition called eclampsia. When diagnosed early, preeclampsia can generally be managed to protect a mother and child. However, untreated preeclampsia can lead to preterm birth, low birth weight, cerebral palsy, stroke or seizures in the mother, heart failure, complications after birth, and more.

Placental issues - There are many problems that may involve the placenta during pregnancy. Two of the most common is placenta previa and placental abruption. Placenta previa happens when the placenta is attached very low and covers the cervix. It can cause preterm labor, fetal infections, bleeding, and require the baby to be delivered via C-section. Placental abruption means the placenta has detached from the uterus. This can lead to abnormal development, preterm birth, restriction on fetal growth, or even stillbirth.

Prolapsed umbilical cord - Several different risk factors can cause the umbilical cord to exit the uterus before the baby does. In this situation, the baby's weight can compress the umbilical cord and cut off blood flow, resulting in decreased heart rate and potential oxygen deprivation. If not properly diagnosed and managed, umbilical cord prolapse can be life-threatening to a child.

rH incompatibility - Some people are rH-positive (meaning that they have protein on their red blood cells) and some are rH-negative. If a mother and fetus are opposites, they are considered to be rH incompatible. If this problem is not discovered early, complications can occur including severe hemolytic anemia, which can be potentially life-threatening for your child.

Uterine rupture - A uterine rupture can develop in late pregnancy or during childbirth and happens when a breach occurs in the myometrial wall, which can lead to the uterus spilling out into the peritoneal cavity. This is life-threatening for both the baby and the mother if undiscovered and can cause abdominal pregnancy, abdominal bleeding, decreased fetal heart rate, hypovolemic shock, and other serious complications.

Fetal abnormalities - Many abnormalities in the development of a fetus can lead to potentially serious complications at birth and the need for a C-section and other special attention during labor and delivery. If a doctor does not properly identify a birth defect or fetal abnormality, both the mother and child can suffer severe or life-threatening injuries.

  • Your Rights if a Birth Injury Occurred
  • Birth injuries can result in significant losses, including the following:
  • Unnecessary medical expenses to treat the injury
  • Lasting impairments for the child
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death

Proving that a doctor was negligent in failing to diagnose a condition during pregnancy is a complex task that requires highly technical medical knowledge and analysis. For this reason, you need a law firm representing your rights that have the resources necessary to successfully seek compensation for your various birth injury-related losses.

Contact Our Clearwater Birth Injury Attorneys for Assistance Today

Some people may not even discover that a birth injury has occurred until some time has passed since the birth. If you are concerned that your child may have suffered an injury, you should discuss these concerns with a skilled medical malpractice attorney who is familiar with birth injury claims. The birth injury law firm of Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is here to help you, so please call us at 727-451-6900 for more information today.

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 727-451-6900


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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