Fetal Ultrasound and Birth Defects
Since the mid-1950s, ultrasound technology has helped medical professionals provide better care for pregnant women and their unborn babies. It uses sound waves to produce a picture of a growing child in the womb. Ultrasound procedures are performed routinely to monitor the health condition of the developing fetus, to detect any abnormalities, and to diagnose any conditions that may affect the mother or the baby. Medical errors associated with an ultrasound could lead to a failure to diagnose a range of maternal and fetal problems.
How Is Ultrasound Used During Pregnancy?
Using high-frequency sound waves, ultrasound techniques make it possible to look inside the womb without invasive procedures. Also called sonograms, ultrasound scans are routinely performed during pregnancy, usually beginning in the second trimester. An ultrasound may be ordered for several reasons, including:
- Confirming pregnancy
- Determining due date
- Identifying twins or triplets
- Examining the uterus and ovaries
- Checking fetal heartbeat
- Monitoring growth of the fetus
- Assessing muscle tone and movement of the fetus
- Identifying potential birth defects
- Detecting health conditions that affect the infant
- Diagnosing pregnancy complications
- Identifying risk factors for birth injuries
- Determining the position of the baby before delivery
What Are Some Common Ultrasound Errors?
Ultrasounds are important diagnostic procedures used to monitor the health of the fetus and to help minimize pregnancy and delivery complications and help prevent birth injuries. Medical errors with ultrasound procedures can have disastrous results for mother and baby. Common medical errors with ultrasound technology may involve:
- Defective or poorly maintained equipment
- Distorted or low-quality ultrasound images
- Improperly trained technicians
- Misinterpretation of results
- Failure to order further testing to confirm ultrasound results
- Misdiagnosis of health conditions of the fetus
- Failure to identify an existing condition in the mother or the baby
- Patient coding errors and medical record mistakes
- Failure to communicate ultrasound findings to treatment providers or patients
What Are the Potential Consequences of Ultrasound Medical Errors?
Medical errors with ultrasound procedures can have serious, life-altering consequences. For example, certain umbilical cord anomalies can be treated and improve the chances for the mother and baby to be healthy, but only if the ultrasound is correctly interpreted.
If the child is in a breech position, failure to identify the problem with ultrasound could prevent the doctor from ordering a C-section and result in serious birth injuries. Medical errors with sonograms can also lead to health risks for the mother. Injuries to the child caused by ultrasound medical negligence may include cerebral palsy, brain damage, cognitive disorders, physical deformities, and permanent disabilities.
What Should You Do If Your Child Has a Birth Defect That Might Have Been Detected by a Sonogram?
If your child has a birth defect you believe could have been detected with ultrasound procedures, it is in your best interests to speak with a Denver medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. You may have a claim to recover compensation for your family against negligent medical providers.
At Leventhal Puga Braley P.C., we have handled hundreds of birth injury cases throughout the U.S. Our attorneys are licensed in multiple states, and we can accept cases from nearly anywhere in the country. Our Denver birth injury lawyers have earned top ratings from Martindale-Hubbell®, been listed among Colorado Super Lawyers®, and awarded membership in the Inner Circle of Advocates.
Our firm has been recognized as one of the top law firms in the nation for medical malpractice and personal injury. Call us at (303) 759-9945 or toll-free at (877) 433-3906 to schedule a free consultation. We can tell you if you have a case and what damages you may be entitled to claim.