As women age, their risk of suffering pregnancy complications increases. Obstetricians consider pregnant women who are older than 35 to be of advanced maternal age, and the standard of care for these patients includes advising them of the risks that their age poses to both themselves and the baby.
Obstetricians should refer pregnant patients who are of advanced maternal age to a specialist who handles high-risk cases. If they fail to do so and complications or birth defects occur, the negligent provider may be liable for the damages.
If your baby was born with injuries because an obstetrician failed to refer you to a specialist or to administer standard tests during the early stages of your pregnancy, a medical malpractice lawyer from The Bowling Law Firm may be able to help. Call 877-757-3539 to schedule a consultation with a birth injury attorney in Jackson.
Should I Undergo an Amniocentesis?
An amniocentesis is medical procedure that women typically undergo during the first part of their second trimester, or when they are between 16 and 18 weeks along. During the procedure, an ultrasound tech will show the doctor where the placenta and fetus are located.
Using this sonogram as a guide, the doctor will insert a needle safely through the abdomen and uterus until it hits the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus. According to WebMD, the doctor will withdraw less than 1 ounce of fluid, which contains cells from the fetus that lab technicians can test for genetic and chromosomal abnormalities.
Obstetricians recommend that pregnant women should undergo an amniocentesis if they:
● Will be 35 or older on their due date;
● Have had a previous fetus or child with a birth defect;
● Have a family history of birth defects;
● Received abnormal lab results; or
● Received abnormal ultrasound results.
An amniocentesis may not be able to detect all potential birth defects, but it can identify the risk of conditions like Down's syndrome, sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, spina bifida, anencephaly, and muscular dystrophy.
What Are the Risks of Undergoing an Amniocentesis?
The greatest risk of undergoing an amniocentesis is the loss of the fetus. According to Parents, the chance of that happening is 1:200, which means one out of every 200 women who undergo the procedure may experience complications that result in a loss of the pregnancy.
For women with high-risk pregnancies, the risk of undergoing the procedure may be worth it. At the end of the day, having an amniocentesis is a personal decision and it is ultimately up to the patient; however, it is an obstetrician's responsibility to educate patients on all the possible outcomes of both carrying a high-risk pregnancy to term and undergoing various tests during the second trimester.
Some birth defects are more serious than others, but all cases of negligent care during pregnancy and delivery can cause pain and suffering and result in additional medical bills. If your obstetrician failed to address your risks during pregnancy and your family is suffering as a result, contact The Bowling Law Firm.
You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other damages. Call 877-757-3539 to schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer in Jackson. You can learn more about malpractice claims in Louisiana by visiting usattorneys.com/medical-malpractice/louisiana.