Portland Prenatal Testing Errors Lawyer
When you learn you are pregnant, chances are the first step you take is to make an appointment to see your doctor. You know that proper prenatal care is important to both your health and the proper development and successful birth of a happy and healthy child. Therefore, you should expect that your doctor will take all the necessary steps in your prenatal care to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved. Unfortunately, many errors can be made by medical professionals during prenatal care that can cause unnecessary complications or harm to your child. One common error is inadequacies involving prenatal testing.
If you believe that your doctor made an error regarding prenatal testing, you need to speak with a lawyer who is familiar with this type of highly technical case. Please call the Johnston Law Firm in Portland to discuss your situation today.
Adequate Prenatal Testing
There are many conditions that a mother may have or may develop during pregnancy that can affect both her own health and the health of her child. Part of a doctor’s job during prenatal care is to fully evaluate a pregnant patient and identify any possible conditions or risks that must be addressed or managed for a safe pregnancy. Doctors should know when to test for gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and other potential conditions in the mother that need to be treated to prevent harm. Doctors should also test for bilirubin in the blood to help predict and prevent potentially dangerous instances of jaundice in a newborn.
In addition to tests regarding the mother’s health, doctors should often test for possible serious or life-threatening birth defects in a fetus. Some examples of such birth defects that can be diagnosed through prenatal testing include the following:
- Down syndrome;
- Spina bifida;
- Cystic fibrosis;
- Sickle cell disease;
- Tay-Sachs disease;
- Other debilitating conditions that can affect the child’s entire life.
In some cases, if a parent learns their fetus has a severe, painful, and untreatable birth defect, they may choose to terminate the pregnancy. This can avoid pain and suffering of the child, as well as the extreme cost of having a child with a severe birth defect.
If the proper tests are not conducted or if parents are not given the information, devastating results may occur.
Holding Your Doctor Liable for Medical Negligence
Doctors can only be held liable for medical errors if their errors rose to the level of negligence – which means they did not provide the standard of care required for doctors in their position. Prenatal diagnostic tests are not always required or even recommended, therefore, not every doctor can be held liable for failing to perform prenatal tests. However, certain circumstances may arise that should incite a doctor to recognize the need for certain tests. Some factors that may indicate that diagnostic tests are appropriate include:
- The mother is over the age of 35;
- There is a family history of Down syndrome or other types of birth defects;
- The mother has had prior babies with either high or low birth weight;
- The mother has high blood pressure;
- There is a history of diabetes or heart disease;
- The mother is clinically obese;
- There has been a prior stillbirth;
- There has been a previous birth defect diagnosis.
If any of the above risk factors exist and a doctor does not perform the necessary tests, it is likely that the doctor was negligent. In addition, if a doctor misreads test results when there should have been a clear diagnosis, it may be considered to be medical negligence. Finally, if a doctor purposefully does not inform a patient of important test results to try to prevent the termination of a pregnancy or for some other reason, the patient will likely be able to hold the doctor liable for any losses they suffered.
Contact a Prenatal Testing Errors Lawyer for Help
If your doctor failed to perform certain tests on your or your child during pregnancy or if they misinterpreted test results, you should call an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Portland to learn whether you can hold your doctor liable for any harm caused. In addition, if you believe your doctor intentionally withheld information regarding prenatal test results from you, we can represent your rights. At the Johnston Law Firm, we truly care about the well-being of each child and parent we represent and we dedicate all the necessary resources to helping you recover. Please call our office today at (503) 546-3167 for a FREE consultation.