During pregnancy, many mothers worry about the health of their child as well as their own well-being. That is why it is important to get regular check-ups and bring up any concerns with your doctor. However, what happens if a condition, such as gestational diabetes, goes undiagnosed? Failure to diagnose typically falls under the category of medical malpractice.
Gestational diabetes occurs very often during pregnancy. If your doctor fails to diagnose it and it goes untreated, both you and your baby can suffer multiple medical issues. The American Diabetes Association has seen substantial increases in gestational diabetes during the last 20 years. Some of the reasons include increases in maternal obesity, less physical activity during pregnancy, other instances of diabetes in the family, and higher than usual levels of amniotic fluid. Mothers that are 25 or older also have an increased chance of developing gestational diabetes.
Sometimes, there are no symptoms at all that gestational diabetes is present and the mother's blood sugar levels will return to normal within the first month after giving birth. On the other hand, some women experience infections, increased tiredness, blurry vision and weight loss. Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting as well as an increase in thirst and frequent bathroom trips.
Effects on infants
In cases where gestational diabetes goes untreated, or your doctor does not treat it sufficiently, then your child may be prone to certain health issues. When a child's body has to deal with excess insulin and levels of high blood glucose, it may cause the child to gain extra weight and grow larger than normal while in the womb. This means that the risk of birth injuries increases. For example, during the birth, your child may suffer from brachial plexus injuries, shoulder dystocia and other injuries.
In addition, a woman that has high blood sugar during the pregnancy also has a higher chance of going into early labor and delivery. One of the most common injuries that occurs due to early delivery is infant respiratory distress syndrome. Even if the labor is not early, if the mother has gestational diabetes, the risk of infant respiratory distress syndrome is still present.
During pregnancy, it is your doctor's duty to discover, diagnose, and treat any medical issues that occur. If, after giving birth, you find out that you had gestational diabetes and you or your child suffered due to a failure to diagnose it, the doctor might be liable for damages. It is important to remember that a Kentucky court's determination of liability will depend on the specific circumstances of your case.