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Birth Doctors Must Consider High Risk Pregnancies in Setting Up Pregnancy and Delivery Plan

Victor Lewin - Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Many couples look forward to the most wonderful experiences of bringing a child into the world. No parent wants to encounter a birth injury with their newborn baby. Although most pregnancies carry a low risk of a birth injury or birth defect, some pregnancies are at a greater risk. It is important to realize that just because a pregnant woman is at a higher risk category, this does not excuse a doctor who is negligent with the care of the expected mother and unborn child. A doctor should be aware of the risk and adopt a pregnancy and delivery plan that reduces the risks. If a birth injury occurs because a doctor was negligent in the detection and treatment of a high risk pregnancy, the family and the child may have a medical malpractice claim and should contact a medical malpractice lawyer.

Women of a higher age face a greater risk for birth injuries and birth defects. One of the risks includes Down syndrome which occurs from a person having an extra copy of chromosome 21. This chromosome interferes with the way the body and brain develop. If the doctor does not provide a test to detect the presence of chromosomal defects and a birth defect such as Down syndrome occurs, the physician may be held liable for medical malpractice.

A woman may also find herself in a high risk pregnancy category due to a number of medical reasons. Some of the more frequent include: diabetes, premature rupture of membranes, heart or kidney problems, high blood pressure, premature birth, abnormal weight for the mother or infant, if a baby is too large to fit through the birth canal, infections, diseases, multiple births such as twins or triplets, or a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).

Premature babies face a greater risk for birth injuries including delivery trauma and developmental delays. The doctor responsible for the delivery must make all reasonable efforts to delay the delivery of a premature infant in order to help the baby further develop before delivery. It is important that the doctor pay extremely close attention to the possibility of birth difficulties and be prepared to handle any emergencies and address any complications before serious injuries to the baby occur.

Larger sized babies also create a greater risk for complications during delivery than average sized babies. Often the baby's size is a consequence of gestational diabetes. A doctor should determine from the ultrasound images whether the baby will be able to safely exit the birth canal via vaginal delivery. If not, the doctor ought to perform a C-section. If the baby is injured by the vacuum or forceps during a difficult instrumental delivery, the doctor may be negligent.

Another high risk category involves multiple births. A multiple pregnancy, such as twins, triplets, or quadruplets increases the risks involved with any pregnancy. A doctor may be negligent if he or she does not perform early screening, regular prenatal visits, and regular monitoring of the infants for any problems. If the doctor fails to perform routine tests such as ultrasounds and fetal non stress tests and this negligence results in injuries to the babies, the doctor may be liable.

If your physician failed to detect or treat a high risk pregnancy and this lead to a birth injury to your son or daughter, you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer with significant experience in the specific area of birth injury law.

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