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Misdiagnosing Ectopic Pregnancy: Is It Malpractice?

Innovations in medical technology have made childbirth much safer over the course of the past century, but complications still occur from time to time.

It is important for expecting mothers to regularly attend appointments with their doctors to ensure the pregnancy is going normally. Unfortunately, complications can sometimes occur. One such complication is an ectopic pregnancy, or a pregnancy occurring outside the uterus.

Ectopic pregnancies can be fatal for both the embryo and the mother and require immediate treatment. If you were injured because of a misdiagnosed ectopic pregnancy, then you could have grounds for a birth injury claim.

Treating an Ectopic Pregnancy

doctor in medical laboratory

Early diagnosis is crucial for treating ectopic pregnancies because they pose such a high risk to the mother. In an ectopic pregnancy the embryo attaches outside the uterus or on the fallopian tube. It will eventually rupture whatever organ it is attached to, which can kill the mother if not immediately treated.

Not all women with an ectopic pregnancy show the same symptoms – abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, fainting or shock – so it is the doctor’s responsibility to run tests, including ultrasounds, to determine whether the pregnancy is normal.

Once the ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed, they must quickly remove the embryo via surgery or with drugs. Failure to diagnose the ectopic pregnancy can result in death for the mother.

The drug known as methotrexate is commonly used to treat ectopic pregnancies. The drug helps the fertilized cells from multiplying and lets the body reabsorb the embryo before organ damage can occur. These properties that make it so effective against ectopic pregnancies can also cause irreversible damage to viable pregnancies.

Dangers of Misdiagnosing an Ectopic Pregnancy

stethoscope on a piece of paper

Misdiagnosing an ectopic pregnancy can cause severe harm to the healthy embryo and the mother. Methotrexate has been known to cause serious birth defects in infants. If a physician misdiagnoses an ectopic pregnancy and prescribes methotrexate to a healthy pregnant mother, they could cause severe birth defects or even kill the viable embryo.

Misdiagnosing ectopic pregnancy can also be harmful to the mother. Not only will she suffer the physical loss of an otherwise healthy embryo as well as potential side effects of methotrexate, but she may also experience trauma and emotional suffering.

Misdiagnosis during pregnancy is a form of malpractice. If you or a loved one has suffered because a doctor has failed to diagnose or treat an ectopic pregnancy, you can file a birth injury claim against the negligent physician or facility.

Filing a Birth Injury Claim

Birth injury cases can involve misdiagnosis, medication errors, or negligence that injures the mother or the child during pregnancy and childbirth. If your doctor’s negligence caused you physical and emotional harm, you can recover damages for your losses.

Medical malpractice cases are incredibly complex – don’t try to go it alone. It is important to know that not every birth injury is eligible for a lawsuit. It’s a wise idea to seek out the help of an Indiana birth injury attorney to find out if you have grounds for a legal case. They can also let you know what kind of damages you could recover, such as reimbursement for medical bills.

Gathering documentation proving negligence occurred can be difficult, especially if you are recovering from treatment. This is one reason why it is so important to make sure your Indiana birth injury attorney is highly experienced and qualified to handle your case. They can help gather information and proof that will show your doctor was negligent when they misdiagnosed you.

The type of damages you recover will ultimately depend on the details of your case. You may be able to receive compensation for damages such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, medical bills you incurred while in the negligent doctor’s care, and any future medical bills.

In Indiana, damages from malpractice suits are capped at the liability limit. Your birth injury attorney will walk you through how the caps may affect your case.

Help from a Birth Injury Lawyer

The prospect of becoming a new mother should be a joyous time. If your physician acted negligently and it resulted in a birth injury or even death of your child, a medical malpractice attorney can help. Here at Hensley Legal Group, we care about your case. Get in touch with us right away to speak to an Indiana birth injury lawyer.