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Assessing a pregnant woman after a car accident

While we have focused a number of our posts on car accidents, as medical malpractice attorneys, we also handle cases where pregnancy injuries are misdiagnosed or mistreated. While it is uncommon for pregnant women to be involved in car accidents, they do occur; and in these instances, medical personnel must be ready and available to take extra precautions when assessing the extent of injuries to both mother and child.

After all, trauma is the most common form of non-obstetric deaths in the United States; and one of the most common causes of trauma is car accidents. Because of this, doctors who evaluate a pregnant woman who has been in a car accident should keep this possibility in mind to rule out potential issues.

As such this post will highlight a few things that pregnant patients should expect during a post crash evaluation.

Initial stabilization – Before the fetus can be assessed and treated, the mother must be stabilized so that additional distress may be avoided. Doctors may provide additional oxygen and intravenous fluids to promote stability.

Electronic fetal monitoring – After stabilization, continuous electronic fetal monitoring is a standard procedure. This will enable medical personnel to stay apprised of any sudden or gradual changes in the baby’s heart rate, which could indicate distress.

Lab studies – Also, doctors should be concerned about the mother’s blood count, and Rhesus factor status. Because of this, it is common for blood tests to be conducted which could reveal additional problems not seen through other means.

The preceding is not legal or medical advice. If you have questions about your rights and options after an accident, an experienced attorney can help. 

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