Pregnancy often alters a woman’s body in myriad ways, and even women who were healthy prior to becoming pregnant may suddenly have to contend with unexpected complications. One important part of prenatal care is the monitoring of expectant mothers for gestational diabetes to protect fetal health and help prevent birth complications and injuries, including respiratory distress syndrome, preterm birth and stillbirth. If your child suffered an injury at birth due to a doctor’s failure to diagnose or treat your gestational diabetes, you should consult an lawyer regarding your potential claims. At Arfaa Law Group, our dedicated Baltimore birth injury attorneys represent families in the pursuit of compensation for birth injuries, and we will diligently fight to help you seek the full amount of damages recoverable under the law.Harm Caused by the Failure to Diagnose or Treat Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes mellitus that only occurs during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is more prevalent in women with certain risk factors, such as being overweight, being over the age of 25, a familial history of diabetes, a prior history of gestational diabetes, and previous delivery of a baby that weighed more than nine pounds. Doctors should test expectant mothers for gestational diabetes between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy, but women facing a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes may be tested earlier.
If a physician fails to test for and properly manage gestational diabetes in a patient, her unborn child may suffer from macrosomia, which may require a C-section or early delivery. Babies of mothers with gestational diabetes are at risk for jaundice, hypoxia, hypoglycemia, and seizures as well. Thus, the treating physician of an expectant mother with gestational diabetes must thoroughly monitor the health of both the mother and her unborn child throughout the duration of the pregnancy.Seeking Damages for Birth Injuries
In Baltimore, both a child suffering from a birth injury and his or her parents can pursue claims against their Maryland health care providers that caused the child’s harm. Although the parents and child may be owed separate damages, the theory of liability asserted by both in a birth injury case will typically be the same. In other words, children and parents pursuing claims against a health care provider in a medical malpractice lawsuit will usually allege that the healthcare provider was negligent.
To prove medical negligence, a plaintiff must show that the healthcare provider owed the patient a duty to provide medical care that complied with the standard, but that the defendant’s actions or omissions fell below the standard, constituting a breach. The standard of care is what a competent professional practicing in the same specialty would provide under the same circumstances. The plaintiff must also prove that the defendant’s breach of the standard of care proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm, meaning that the patient would not have suffered any damages absent the breach by the healthcare provider. In the majority of medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff will have to rely on expert testimony to explain the standard of care to the judge or jury, and the manner in which the defendant’s acts constituted a breach of the standard. Expert testimony is usually needed to establish the harm the plaintiff suffered, and any treatment the plaintiff will need to undergo in the future.Confer with a Trusted Maryland Attorney
While gestational diabetes is generally a manageable condition, the failure of a treating physician to provide proper care to a mother can cause her child to suffer serious harm at birth. If a healthcare provider’s inadequate management of your gestational diabetes led to your child’s harm, it is prudent to confer with a lawyer to discuss whether you may have a viable claim for damages. The trusted attorneys of Arfaa Law Group represent children and their families who have been harmed by medical malpractice. We have an office in Baltimore, where we advocate for families in birth injury lawsuits. We can be reached via our form online or at 410-889-1850 to schedule a confidential and free meeting regarding your potential claims.