Pregnancy Related Misdiagnosis Lawyer
Obstetricians, gynecologists, and other medical professionals working with women who are pregnant or possibly pregnant owe a specific duty of care to their patients. Falsely diagnosing a woman as pregnant, failing to diagnose her pregnancy, or misdiagnosing pregnancy-related conditions can all put women and babies at risk for serious or even fatal complications.
Here at the Serious Injury Law Group, our medical malpractice attorneys have years of experience helping Birmingham women and their families recover from the devastating effects of misdiagnosed conditions, including pregnancies. We fight aggressively to hold negligent medical providers accountable.
Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.
Common Complications or Risks of Misdiagnosis and Pregnancy
Several pregnancy-related complications can be avoided by properly diagnosing and treating certain conditions that affect mothers and babies. When these complications arise as a result of practitioner negligence or error, families may have grounds for medical malpractice claims against at-fault healthcare providers.
Some common pregnancy complications that may arise due to misdiagnosis include:
- Ectopic pregnancy – Ectopic pregnancy is a rare but potentially fatal condition in which a fertilized egg is implanted outside a woman’s uterus. Ectopic pregnancies may be misdiagnosed if doctors fail to conduct proper physical exams, blood tests, and imaging studies, such as ultrasounds.
- Miscarriage – Miscarriages are sadly common condition and result in the loss of a fetus within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Undiagnosed miscarriages may lead to septic infections in the uterus, which may be fatal to mothers.
- Gestational diabetes – This is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy and affects how a mother’s cells utilize sugar. Gestational diabetes is a common condition that should be diagnosed and monitored closely during prenatal care since it can cause high blood sugar and may have negative effects on the baby.
- Antiphospholipid syndrome – This is a disorder in which a mother’s immune system begins to produce antibodies that attack her normal blood proteins. This condition can lead to blood clots or miscarriage. To diagnose antiphospholipid syndrome, doctors should order blood tests for women with certain pre-existing conditions.
- Preeclampsia – Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-related condition in which mothers experience high blood pressure, swelling, and excess protein in the urine. If doctors fail to properly diagnose and treat preeclampsia, mothers and children can experience severe and potentially fatal complications, such as organ damage.
- Cerebral palsy – This incurable birth defect may arise if doctors fail to diagnose maternal infections, disrupted blood supply, or a lack of oxygen during labor or delivery. In certain cases, other disorders with similar symptoms may even be misdiagnosed as cerebral palsy and treated improperly as a result.
Failure to Diagnose Pregnancy
In some cases, women who are pregnant may not realize it. If doctors fail to account for this possibility and pregnancies go undiagnosed, there can be profound consequences that have unfortunate effects on a mother’s or child’s life. The child may miss out on vital prenatal care that could have otherwise been arranged had the mother known about her pregnancy.
Some types of medical negligence that may lead to pregnancy misdiagnosis complications or an undiagnosed pregnancy include:
- Failure to recognize pregnancy symptoms – If doctors fail to recognize symptoms or order indicated tests that show a woman is pregnant, untreated complications may arise that put a mother and baby at risk.
- Failure to properly read or analyze test results – Doctors who are inexperienced, rushed, or simply negligent sometimes misread test results. They may fail to diagnose pregnancies or pregnancy-related complications.
- Failure to appropriately follow up on test results – Sometimes, doctors may fail to take appropriate follow-up actions regarding test results, such as ordering additional monitoring or testing that could save lives.
- Improper surgical procedure recommendations – In some cases, doctors may misdiagnose pregnancy complications and recommend surgical procedures that aren’t necessary, placing both mother and baby at risk.
- Failure to communicate conditions to patients or other providers – If a doctor, nurse, or technician fails to relay important information about a pregnancy to other medical professionals, conditions may go misdiagnosed or untreated.
Misdiagnosed Pregnancy and Your Rights
Sadly, misdiagnosis and pregnancy often go together. At times, negligent doctors may tell women they are pregnant when, in fact, they are not. Experienced medical providers are expected to recognize the conditions that could lead to false positives and confirm pregnancies with additional methods beyond a basic test.
When women are falsely diagnosed as pregnant, they may face physical or emotional complications as a result. Negligent healthcare providers could order unnecessary medical or surgical procedures based on a false diagnosis. Other women who learn of false positive pregnancies may experience shock or post-traumatic stress.
Any of the following conditions may lead to a misdiagnosis of viable pregnancy or false positive pregnancy test results:
- Chemical pregnancies, in which an embryo fails to implant properly
- Ectopic pregnancies, in which embryos implant outside of the uterus
- Recent miscarriages or abortions, which temporarily raise hormone levels that are used as indicators in pregnancy tests
- Use of certain fertility medications
- Use of other medications such as certain anticonvulsants or antihistamines
Compensation That May Be Available in Misdiagnosed or Undiagnosed Pregnancy Cases
You have the right to expect a professional standard of care from your medical providers. When doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals deviate from that standard and cause traumatic misdiagnoses, patients may have grounds to file medical malpractice or birth injury lawsuits.
A successful medical malpractice or birth injury claim allows you to recover compensation for the injuries or losses you suffered as a result of your doctor’s negligence. Compensation in these cases may be available for:
- Past and future medical expenses for mother and baby
- Healthcare costs related to the treatment of your injuries or health conditions
- Lost wages or employment, if you are forced to miss time at work
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress
- Permanent disability
- Loss of companionship or enjoyment of life
How Our Attorneys Can Help You
If you have suffered from a misdiagnosed pregnancy in Birmingham, you may be interested in finding out about your legal rights. Medical malpractice cases tend to be prolonged, emotional, and difficult. The Alabama lawyers of the Serious Injury Law Group are here to guide you through the process and handle all of the complicated details while you focus on your recovery. We can meet with you wherever is most convenient for you.
We can gather compelling evidence, consult with trusted medical experts, and communicate with others on your behalf to establish the strongest possible argument for your claim. Our confidential consultations are always free, so contact us today to discuss the details of your case.