For most women, pregnancy and childbirth are straightforward, albeit uncomfortable, processes. After nearly 10 months in the mother’s body, an infant is born, and the family celebrates the welcoming of a new little one. For many women, however, things are complicated right from the beginning. Known as “high-risk pregnancies,” pregnancies involving certain factors require much more extensive care and monitoring to keep the mother and baby safe. If this care is not provided because an OB fails to recognize risk factors, does not make appropriate referrals, or does not provide the necessary treatment, the lives and health of both the mother and child could be at risk of birth injuries.
What Are Risk Factors for High-Risk Pregnancy?
Excellent research is available on risk factors during pregnancy and doctors who specialize in providing healthcare to pregnant women should be constantly assessing their patients for signs that a pregnancy is, or could become, high-risk.
High risk factors include, but are not limited to:
- Carrying more than one baby
- Advanced maternal age (generally over 35 years old)
- Drug, alcohol, or cigarette use during pregnancy
- Maternal diabetes, obesity, heart disorders, infection, or high blood pressure
- Placenta previa
- Rh sensitization
- A history of pregnancy-related complications, such as preeclampsia
What Happens if a High-Risk Pregnancy is Not Recognized and Treated?
High-risk pregnancies require additional screening, testing, and prenatal doctor’s visits. They may require treatment from a doctor who specializes in women with high-risk pregnancies, especially towards the end of the pregnancy, including admission into a high-risk ward where the mother and infant can be constantly monitored.
A doctor who fails to recognize the signs of a high-risk pregnancy exposes the mother and the child to serious risks. These include, but are not limited to:
- Preterm labor
- Prolonged labor
- Birth defects
- Cerebral palsy
- Future infertility
- Organ failure
- Maternal mortality
One or more of these conditions can require expensive, long-term treatment. Some conditions cannot be fixed, and, in the event of a lost fetus or wrongful maternal death, lives can be changed forever. While a lawsuit cannot undo the past, it can help recover compensation to help with medical expenses, fertility therapies, funeral expenses, and more.
Contact an Illinois Birth Injuries Lawyer Now
If you did not get the medical care you needed during pregnancy and you or your baby suffered, schedule a free consultation with a Cook County birth injuries attorney with [[title]]. We will discuss your case with you, conduct an investigation if necessary, and do our best to make sure those responsible for your suffering are held to account. Call us at [[phone]] today.