Generally, birth defects and genetic diseases or disorders can be identified during the early stages of the mother’s pregnancy. As a parent, you can then make an informed decision about continuing or terminating the pregnancy.
In some cases, doctors or obstetricians are negligent and fail to diagnose birth defects or genetic disorders before the child is born. When a prenatal misdiagnosis occurs, your best recourse may be to hire an experienced birth injury attorney to hold the responsible parties accountable for this injustice.
If your child suffered a misdiagnosis of a prenatal condition, please call Polewski & Associates today at 501-404-0062 for your free case consultation. We understand the difficulties that prenatal misdiagnoses cause for families, and we are here to help you understand your rights and help you move forward.
- Responsibilities of Your Medical Team
- Common Errors Leading to Prenatal Misdiagnosis
- A Closer Look at Group B Strep Bacterial Meningitis
- Who Is Responsible for Prenatal Misdiagnosis
- Polewski & Associates Birth Injury Attorneys Can Help
- The Personal Attention Your Case Deserves
- Call John Polewski Today
Responsibilities of Your Medical Team
Every obstetrician and medical team responsible for your prenatal and delivery care must follow set standard practices and procedures, like conducting prenatal screening tests on all their pregnant patients.
Ultrasounds and sonograms are used in the early stages of a pregnancy to determine if there are any “fetal anomalies.” These include:
- the presence of certain physical defects
- problems in the development of the brain and heart
- missing organs or bones
- conditions such as Down syndrome
Later in your pregnancy, tests can be performed to detect potential dangers during delivery, such as a test for bacterial meningitis, which can be life threatening to a newborn if passed from mother to child.
Common Errors Leading to Prenatal Misdiagnosis
Misdiagnosis can be caused by a variety of actions or inactions on the part of your doctor or other medical professional. Common errors leading to prenatal misdiagnosis include:
- Failure to take thorough genetic history of parents
- Failure to properly test for development at the correct gestational age
- Misplacing or overlooking screening results
- Improper interpretation of screening tests by the lab or doctor
- Improperly performed or interpreted ultrasound to survey fetal anatomy
- Improper laboratory interpretation of prenatal screening testing
- Improperly dated pregnancy
A Closer Look at Group B Strep Bacterial Meningitis
Bacterial meningitis is an illness caused by bacteria that produces an infection in the fluid of the brain and spinal cord. It is extremely serious and must be treated as soon as possible with antibiotics. If it is not treated, it can result in brain damage or even death to the newborn baby.
Sadly, mothers can spread bacterial meningitis to their newborn. This is the result of the presence of group B streptococcus (GBS), a type of bacteria that can get into the bloodstream of the mother and spread to the birth canal during the child’s delivery. What is worrying is that the mother does not need to have any of the symptoms of bacterial meningitis in order to infect her baby.
However, the presence of GBS can be tested for before deliver. There are three main types of bacteria that cause bacterial meningitis. These are:
- Neisseria meningitidis
- Haemophilus influenza type b
- Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria
GROUP B STREPTOCOCCUS
Group B streptococcus is present in about a quarter of all adult women. It is commonly found in the rectum and vagina. Simply having GBS does not mean you will become ill, but that you are colonized. Also, not every mother who has GBS will necessarily pass it on to her child. GBS affects one in every 2,000 babies whose mothers are carriers. Many babies who are infected may get sepsis or pneumonia instead of meningitis, which are still serious conditions for a newborn.
Because of the dangers of GBS to your newborn, your doctor should perform a prenatal exam on you when you are 35 to 37 weeks into your pregnancy. This is done through a swab. If you are found to be a carrier of GBS, you will be given an antibiotic to reduce the chances that your child will become infected.
Identifying Meningitis in Your Infant
The difficulty in identifying meningitis in your infant is that its symptoms can look like symptoms for many other ailments. Symptoms of meningitis in your infant include:
- Trouble breathing
- Trouble eating
- Light sensitivity
- Stiff neck
- Excessive sleepiness
Although your doctor should test you for GBS and treat you for its presence, a failure to diagnose bacterial meningitis in your child may constitute medical malpractice. Since your child may suffer brain damage or die as a result of this infection, any failure on the part of a healthcare provider to diagnose or test for bacterial meningitis is serious.
Who Is Responsible for Prenatal Misdiagnosis
These medical errors can be committed by any healthcare professional who is involved in your prenatal tests or screenings. These medical professionals should be held accountable for their errors, and may include:
- Lab technicians
- Other personnel
A prenatal misdiagnosis can stem from something glaringly obvious to those in the know. Trusting these trained professionals to make the right decisions when it comes to the birth of your child should not be asking too much. You put your trust in their expertise and they should not violate that trust and endanger the life of you or your child.
Polewski & Associates Birth Injury Attorneys Can Help
The experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Polewski & Associates have the ability to fully investigate and build your case to show your doctor was negligent in giving you the information you needed to make an informed decision about the birth of your child.
By proving to the court what you and your family must endure in caring for a disabled child, we can achieve the verdict or settlement you need to cover the financial obligations you never expected to have. We also work to recover damages for the pain and suffering caused to you and your spouse, as well as any other children you may have.
The Personal Attention Your Case Deserves
Our birth injury attorneys have more than 30 years of experience handling these complex cases, and we understand the medical issues involved.
Your case will be personally handled by a board-certified personal injury law specialist, and it will be analyzed by an injury lawyer who is also a licensed medical doctor. Very few Dallas law firms can offer you this level of specialization, and our attorneys are confident that it will provide you the edge you need when battling the high-powered legal teams employed by doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies.
In pursuing justice for you and your family, we can help prevent negligent medical professionals from harming others.
Call John Polewski Today
Please call Polewski & Associates today at 501-404-0062 to schedule your free initial consultation. Our birth injury lawyers serve clients in Dallas and throughout North Texas.