Birth defects and injuries that are identified while a fetus is still in utero can be assessed and addressed by the proper medical professionals. In recent months, birth defects stemming from the Zika virus have been highly publicized. This health crisis sheds light on the larger issue of how a pregnant woman should be monitored throughout her pregnancy.
Pregnant women go to great lengths in order to protect themselves and their unborn babies from harm. Doctors are responsible for aiding in this process. Their involvement can range from providing advice on minimizing risk factors to identifying potential birth defects as soon as possible.
While the exact way in which Zika causes birth defects or if it causes birth defects in all fetuses is still unknown, doctors across the country are now on notice that pregnant women and their fetuses must be additionally assessed.
Unfortunately, many doctors are not capable of handling serious fetal issues. This type of medical malpractice can cause or contribute to serious birth injuries and defects, leaving a baby injured and a family distraught.
Failure To Monitor An Expectant Mother
The Zika virus is just one disease that must be screened for in pregnant women. There are numerous types of diseases and physiological issues that can arise and affect a growing fetus. A pregnant woman must be adequately examined and monitored to ensure that the fetus is thriving and the health of the woman is being maintained. The failure of a doctor to monitor a pregnant woman can have serious impacts on both mother and baby.
It is also important that a doctor ensure all issues in utero are identified to ensure that labor and delivery proceeds as smoothly as possible. A medical team can properly handle the labor and delivery process of a baby who has a potential illness or injury when the issue is known before birth. For example, if a baby is born with an abnormally small head (called microcephaly) as in the case of children who have contracted the Zika virus, the delivery of this child must be handled very delicately as not to additionally traumatize the head.
When avoidable injuries and illnesses occur, it is possible that the doctor was negligent and should be held responsible for malpractice. A skilled attorney who is experienced in the area of medical malpractice can evaluate your situation and determine if it may be possible to file an injury claim.