Why Are OB-GYNs Advised to Delay Miscarriage Diagnoses?December 28th, 2017
When it comes to health and wellness, an earlier diagnosis usually means a better prognosis. For example, early detection is essential for the prevention and treatment of cancer.
There are some exceptions to this rule, though, and miscarriage is one of them. After studying nearly 3,000 pregnant women, researchers determined that there is some value in delaying miscarriage diagnoses to avoid making a misdiagnosis and then terminating what is actually a healthy pregnancy.
If you received some kind of misdiagnosis before, during, or after pregnancy and you or your baby suffered as a result, contact The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. David A. Bowling has more than three decades of trial experience helping victims of malpractice secure the compensation they deserve. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a case evaluation with a medical malpractice attorney in Baton Rouge.
Why Are OB-GYNs Advised to Delay Miscarriage Diagnoses?
According to the American Pregnancy Association, miscarriage is the most common kind of pregnancy loss. Up to 25 percent of all recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage, which means many woman can expect to experience one at some point, especially if they conceive multiple times over the course of their life.
Since most miscarriages occur during the first 13 weeks of gestation, pregnant women who experience any bleeding or pain during the first trimester are typically referred for an early scan. After conducting the scan, the doctor will likely bring the patient back one week later to perform a second scan and conFirm the findings. At that point, if the results indicate a miscarriage, the doctor may recommend either letting the pregnancy end naturally or facilitating the process with surgery or medication.
Unfortunately, researchers have found that by waiting just seven days between scans, a misdiagnosis can occur. If sufficient time has not passed between the two scans, doctors risk misinterpreting the results of the screening and ultimately ending a healthy pregnancy. For this reason, the experts who led the study mentioned above recommend that doctors wait 14 days before conducting the second scan.
When the scans are two weeks apart, the pregnancy has more of a chance to progress, and doctors can be more confident in their diagnosis. By spacing the scans seven days apart, on the other hand, there is a much higher risk of misdiagnosing a miscarriage.
Although only a small number of cases the researchers studied–no more than 2 percent–resulted in a “false positive” diagnosis of miscarriage, they were adamant that just one misdiagnosed miscarriage was too many. Pregnant women should be able to trust that when they receive such a diagnosis, there is no margin for error. Although at seven days the waiting period between scans is already stressful enough, doubling it is the most effective way to prevent a misdiagnosis of miscarriage.
If you received substandard prenatal care and you or your baby suffered injuries as a result, turn to The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.