Pregnant women trust their obstetricians with the health of their infants. Although most physicians competently care for expectant mothers and their fetuses during pregnancy, some medical professionals make mistakes and overlook issues that result in harm for infants. While some acts of medical negligence can result in minor problems for newborn babies, other acts of medical malpractice, such as failure to diagnose maternal infections, may lead to serious injuries such as brain damage.
How Does Medical Malpractice Occur?
There are many infections—both viral and bacterial—that can negatively affect mothers and their babies during pregnancy. For example, expectant mothers can have herpes, rubella, syphilis, urinary tract infections, or bacterial vaginosis. It is a doctor’s job to diagnose and treat these infections by providing proper care for pregnant patients, so their fetuses aren’t infected.
Unfortunately, many obstetricians fail to monitor and detect maternal infections because they:
- Don’t perform a physical exam
- Don’t review a patient’s medical history
- Don’t conduct the right tests and screenings during pregnancy
- Don’t review test results
Because of a doctor’s careless actions, an infant can suffer a birth brain injury when a maternal infection isn’t timely diagnosed and properly treated. Because doctors are professionals who owe their patients a duty of care, they need to be held responsible for an infant’s adverse neurological outcome that resulted from failure to diagnose.
Contact a Virginia Child Injury Lawyer Today
If you believe your infant’s brain injury or other serious illness was the result of a doctor’s failure to diagnose a maternal infection during your pregnancy, you should seek legal advice. Please call our office at 703-721-4233, or fill out a short form on our website to get a free copy of our book, What You need to Know Before Pursuing a Medical Malpractice Case.