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Failure to Diagnose Placenta Previa

Birth Injury Lawyers in Syracuse

During a pregnancy, the placenta attaches to the uterine wall to provide food and oxygen to a baby inside the womb. When the placenta lies too low in the uterus, it may cover some or all of the cervix, which is the opening to the uterus above the vagina. An OB-GYN should take into account placenta previa when determining the course of a patient’s treatment during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and a failure to diagnose can result in errors that cause serious harm. If your baby suffered birth injuries because of a doctor’s failure to diagnose placenta previa, a skilled Syracuse birth injury attorney can help you assert your right.

What is Placenta Previa?

In the early stages of a pregnancy, the placenta usually grows into the upper area of a uterine wall, and stays there until birth. In the last stage of labor, a placenta detaches from the uterine wall and contractions help move it into the birth canal where it is delivered after a baby is born. Generally, placenta previa early in a pregnancy isn’t an issue. However, when it occurs further along in the pregnancy, it can result in serious complications. To be born via a vaginal birth, a baby must move through the cervix into the birth canal. The cervix effaces during labor. In cases involving placenta previa, the blood vessels that attach the placenta to the uterus may rip, which can result in severe bleeding and endanger both the laboring mother and the baby being born.

Failure to Diagnose Placenta Previa

Certain mothers are at greater risk for developing placenta previa than others, including those who are 35 or older, have been pregnant before, are pregnant with twins or triplets, smoke cigarettes, use cocaine, or have had surgery on their uteruses, whether a D&C or a C-section. Placenta previa may manifest as bleeding during the second half of the pregnancy. There may not be pain. However, there also may not be a symptom like vaginal bleeding. Ultrasounds can usually locate the placenta; a second trimester ultrasound can reveal placenta previa. Treatment for placenta previa depends on timing during the pregnancy and how serious the bleeding is. Usually, a C-section is recommended to prevent severe bleeding.

What if a doctor fails to diagnose placenta previa? Placenta previa is a condition that warrants close attention, and a failure to diagnose or treat it can result in serious harm. For example, when there is a lot of bleeding, it may be necessary to treat the condition with blood transfusions and corticosteroids, which can help speed up a baby’s lung development. An immediate C-section may be needed where there is serious bleeding at 34-36 weeks.

Failure to diagnose placenta previa can lead to a baby’s premature birth. In turn, that can result in birth injuries like hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, cerebral palsy, or breathing trouble. If your healthcare provider failed to diagnose placenta previa and your child was harmed, you may be able to recover damages by bringing a lawsuit with the help of an experienced birth injury lawyer. In order to prevail on your claims, you will need to show: (1) the healthcare provider owed you a professional duty of care, (2) failure to meet the professional duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. The circumstances will dictate whether an OB-GYN’s failure to diagnose placenta previa constituted a breach of the professional duty of care, and whether that failure caused birth injuries. If it is not proven that a failure to diagnose is not the cause of birth injuries, it will not be possible to recover damages. This is one reason why it is so important to retain a credible and persuasive expert obstetrician-gynecologist to testify on your behalf.

Consult a Seasoned Birth Injury Attorney in Syracuse

If your baby has suffered harm due to failure to diagnose placenta previa in Syracuse, you can consult a knowledgeable birth injury attorney. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents people in Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout Upstate New York, including in Watertown, Oneida, Ithaca, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Oswego, Binghamton, Cooperstown, Auburn, Lyons, Herkimer, Elmira, Utica, and Lowville. Call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.

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