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Birth Injury Risk Can Increase Without Appropriate Prenatal Testing

Throughout the course of a woman's pregnancy, her obstetricians and other health care providers should make time to discuss prenatal screening options. Prenatal screening can help detect birth defects, congenital illnesses and many other important fetal conditions. Furthermore, in some circumstances, failure to conduct adequate prenatal screenings can be grounds for a medical liability lawsuit.

When it comes to prenatal testing, the type - and degree of invasiveness - of a procedure may make a difference. Consider the following:

  • A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that noninvasive prenatal testing, which uses cell-free DNA, dramatically lowered the rate of false positive test results when compared with typical screening methods.
  • Cell-free DNA testing also achieved much greater positive predictive values for detecting fetal trisomies 21 and 18, which are indicators of Down syndrome and Edwards syndrome, respectively.
  • Until recently, the best way to obtain important prenatal genetic information was through amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, two invasive techniques that carry slight risks of miscarriage.
  • Using this new noninvasive method of prenatal testing may make it much easier for physicians to provide important information about the health of the fetus and allow parents to make any necessary decisions regarding pregnancy and birth.

Failure to diagnose genetic defects or abnormalities may be considered a form of prenatal negligence by a physician or other practitioner, depending on the circumstances. Other types of inadequate prenatal care include failing to diagnose or treat gestational diabetes, failing to detect and respond to fetal distress and failing to prevent premature birth due to avoidable complications.

If medical negligence resulted in your child's birth injury or other condition, you may be entitled to compensation for the related physical, financial and emotional damages. Contact an attorney at Jeffrey M. Goldberg Law Offices for legal guidance and to learn more about filing a malpractice lawsuit in Chicago, Illinois.

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