In some cases, pre-existing conditions can lead to a birth injury, leaving a newborn to endure pain and suffering, undergo treatment, and even possibly develop lasting impairments. When it comes to what pre-existing conditions can lead to birth injury, it is necessary to consider both the mother and the baby.
For example, babies that have a higher weight at birth may be risky to deliver traditionally, especially for mothers with small pelvises. Additionally, babies conceived using certain types of fertility treatments may have a higher risk of birth injury.
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The Mother’s Pre-Existing Conditions May Lead to Birth Injuries
When a mother has a pre-existing condition or develops a medical condition during pregnancy, she may need to see a high-risk obstetrician to help reduce the risk to her and their baby. While many women see high-risk doctors because of their age or previous complications during pregnancy, others may need to see them or receive additional monitoring from their doctor because of:
- Thyroid disease.
- Autoimmune disorders.
- Certain sexually transmitted diseases.
There are also additional risks when a mother is overweight or obese. Doctors must be especially careful to screen these mothers for related complications, such as high blood pressure or gestational diabetes, either of which can cause birth injuries when left unmonitored.
In addition, some conditions that do not develop until pregnancy can increase the risk of complications during delivery. This includes:
- Certain maternal infections.
- Preeclampsia (high blood pressure related to pregnancy).
- Gestational diabetes.
- Some conditions related to blood flow to the baby or babies, or the placement of the placenta.
Lifestyle choices may also cause birth injuries, so it is important that doctors look for signs of alcohol use, tobacco use, and use of illegal drugs or dangerous medications.
If routine sonograms, anatomy scans, or other monitoring tests reveal concerns about the baby, the doctor will need to plan the delivery carefully. This includes considering:
- Whether he or she may need to provide breathing support.
- How to identify and respond to fetal distress.
- How he or she will approach any medical concerns the baby will have at birth.
- The importance of diagnosing all medical issues quickly after birth.
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Doctors Still Have a Duty to Protect Mother and Baby When Possible
While pre-existing conditions can lead to a birth injury, it may be possible to prevent them. Doctors who monitor pregnancies, plan for deliveries, and deliver babies, as well as the medical caregivers who help them, are responsible for identifying, diagnosing, and monitoring pre-existing conditions, as well.
Just because a condition is pre-existing does not mean the resulting birth injury cannot support a birth injury medical malpractice lawsuit in some cases.
For example, if a baby has grown past the typical estimated birth weight, the doctor may opt for an early delivery or a cesarean section (c-section) delivery to reduce the risk of complications for the mother and child. Natural vaginal birth of a large baby could cause shoulder dystocia, brachial plexus injuries, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, or other preventable birth injuries.
You May Have a Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Case
If you believe your child’s birth injuries may have been preventable despite a pre-existing condition, you can speak with an attorney near you who takes on this type of case and is familiar with the laws in your state.
If they believe they can recover financial damages, they can help you try to hold the doctor, clinic, or hospital liable. This often includes reviewing medical records, identifying medical expert witnesses, and collecting other evidence to build your case.
Keep in mind that each state has a statute of limitations and other rules that set strict limits on how long you can wait to take this type of case to court.
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Speak With a Member of the Birth Injury Lawyers Group Team
If your child endured a birth injury that required treatment or ongoing care, let the Birth Injury Lawyers Group review your case for free today. We may be able to build a case to show the doctor or another health care provider failed to take proper precautions to prevent the complication or injury.
You can get help today by calling (800) 222-9529 to discuss your case with a birth injury attorney serving families like yours.