Types of Prenatal Screening
Prenatal screening has many aspects. While testing is a very important screening tool, so is your doctor asking the proper questions about your medical and family history to help determine the probability of certain risks. Some topics that should be addressed by your doctor include:
- Your age and general health;
- Whether there were complications with any previous pregnancies;
- Whether you have had prior C-sections;
- Your family history of certain health conditions;
- Your family history of birth defects, low birth weight, or high birth weight;
- Whether prior pregnancies involved birth defects, low birth weight, or high birth weight;
- Your general nutrition and lifestyle choices.
In many situations, a doctor can identify possible future complications simply through carefully considered questions. Then, prevention techniques can be used to avoid complications from arising in the first place. In addition, a doctor can educate you of the signs of any health conditions or complications so that you will know when to call and report any problems.
In addition to reviewing your medical and family history, doctors should perform certain tests. Some types of tests that are appropriate as well as the frequency of testing should be based on the risk factors present in a certain pregnancy. Some examples of prenatal testing that may be important include the following:
- Ultrasounds, including additional ultrasounds for high-risk pregnancies;
- Genetic testing;
- Screening of the mother’s blood serum;
- Nuchal translucency tests;
- Chorionic villi samples;
If a doctor knows that certain risks exist and fails to perform the proper tests, serious harm may occur if birth defects or serious health problems in the mother are not identified. Harm can also occur if a doctor fails to correctly analyze test results or fails to inform parents of important test results, such as those indicating a painful or life-threatening birth defect.
Your Rights If Injury Occurred
Not every failure to perform a certain test will rise to the level of medical malpractice. For example, if you were a relatively young pregnant woman in good health and with no family history of birth or health issues, a doctor may be justified in choosing not to use invasive screening methods to test for certain defects. In such a situation, if another reasonable doctor would have made the same choices, a doctor will not be found to have been negligent and may not be held liable.
On the other hand, if you are of advanced maternal age or your doctor knows that you have had problems with prior pregnancies, failing to adequately screen for certain issues can be found negligent. In these cases, if other reasonable doctors would have conducted screens and tests and your doctor did not, you likely have the right to hold your doctor liable for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice cases arising from birth injuries can be complicated, so you always want to have an experienced lawyer representing your rights. At the Johnston Law Firm, we can help you recover for your medical bills, pain and suffering of you or your child, and more.
Consult a Portland Inadequate Prenatal Screening Attorney
Birth injuries or defects can be shocking, stressful, and expensive. If your child’s birth injury could have been prevented or addressed by adequate prenatal screening, you should not wait to discuss your situation with our experienced Oregon birth injury lawyers. Call the Johnston Law Firm for a free consultation today.
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