Gestational Diabetes Errors and Malpractice
Pregnancy is an exciting time for an expectant mother, but it isn’t without its challenges. A woman’s body is under enormous stress and strain as it works to support both her life and her growing baby’s. This stress often results in pregnancy related health complications, like gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is often very manageable with the care and monitoring of a competent physician. However, when a doctor fails to adequately treat or monitor gestational diabetes, serious injury can result. Failing to provide adequate care resulting in injury is a form of medical malpractice. If you or your child was injured by a doctor’s negligence in this way, continue reading to learn more or call our offices to speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
Understanding Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is an extremely prevalent pregnancy related health complication. It affects nearly one in five pregnant women, and brings with it risks for both mother and child. Gestational diabetes is characterized by the body’s inability to effectively regulate blood glucose levels. Many women with gestational diabetes were not diabetic before pregnancy, and will not remain diabetic after giving birth.
Who’s at Risk?
Any woman can develop gestational diabetes but some are particularly at risk. Women of some national descents have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes, including, Native American, Hispanic, Asian, and African women. Additional risk factors include advanced maternal age, obesity, the use of corticosteroids, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Standard of Care
Your doctor owes you a certain level of care. He or she must provide the care that most other physicians would under similar circumstances. Your doctor must monitor you appropriately throughout your pregnancy to diagnose and effectively treat gestational diabetes in order to fulfil this standard of care. Your doctor should screen you effectively for gestational diabetes. Most women should be screened around 28 weeks of pregnancy, but women with risk factors should be screened earlier. Your doctor must monitor you closely and balance all of your risk factors and your general health in order to determine when you should be screened.
If initial screening indicates a woman may be diabetic, her doctor must follow up with more extensive glucose tolerance testing. Once gestational diabetes is diagnosed, your doctor must tell you how to regulate your glucose levels through diet, medication, and daily monitoring. Undiagnosed or untreated gestational diabetes can have serious consequences for both mother and baby.
Untreated gestational diabetes can lead to high birth weight and necessitate a Cesarean section. After delivery, babies are at risk for low blood sugar, high blood insulin, and long term obesity. Women are at a greater risk to remain diabetic after pregnancy. Diabetes can also lead to nerve damage, kidney damage, and vision problems.
If your doctor failed to diagnose gestational diabetes, delayed diagnosis, or did not effectively treat you once diagnosed, a medical malpractice attorney may be able to help. Please call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 to schedule your free consultation.