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Gestational Diabetes in Mothers: What Happens When It's Misdiagnosed?

Expectant mothers who take all precautions and regularly visit medical professionals throughout their pregnancy have every reason to believe they will be treated and cared for according to accepted medical standards. When doctors, nurses, or other health care providers fail to provide a reasonable standard of care, commit acts of negligence, or fail to properly diagnose conditions, both mothers and babies face increased risks of suffering harm. This is especially true of gestational diabetes, which can lead to more difficult pregnancies and complications during delivery that can injure newborns and mothers.

Gestational diabetes, or GDM, is a condition that prevents pregnant mothers from metabolizing sugar as they normally would. Without proper diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring, gestational diabetes can lead to the birth of a larger child, a condition known as macrosomia. Macrosomia can create difficulties during labor and delivery, and can also result in birth injuries to the baby, including brachial plexus injuries or shoulder dystocia, which often occurs when a baby become stuck in the birthing canal. It may also lead to premature birth, hypoglycemia, and brain injuries.

When a mother is diagnosed with gestational diabetes, medical care providers will more closely monitor mothers during pregnancy. It is the legal duty of medical professionals to properly evaluate, test, and correctly diagnose patients in according to the accepted standards of their fields. This means that problems with diagnosing the condition, or failures to diagnose it at all, can result in injuries that could have otherwise been prevented.

In the case of gestational diabetes diagnosis errors, the following can occur:

  • Misdiagnosis – A misdiagnosis of gestational diabetes may mean that a mother is treated for a condition they do not really have, which can pose risks to both mother and child. It also means that they do not receive the proper treatment and education regarding their true condition.
  • Failure to diagnose – As with a misdiagnosis, a failure to diagnose gestational diabetes means that a mother will not have the opportunity to make certain decisions that could improve the health of herself and her child, such as a change in diet. It also means that they will not be properly treated and monitored during their pregnancy, which increases risks of hypoglycemia and macrosomia that can cause injuries during birth.

Medical malpractice laws can ensure that mothers who did not receive proper care and were incorrectly diagnosed or not diagnosed for gestational diabetes have the legal right to hold doctors and other responsible medical care providers responsible for their damages. Medical malpractice can be a complex area of law and the elements involved in these claims can be difficult to address. These include the need to establish proof that a doctor should have tested and / or known that mother had gestational diabetes during pregnancy, or that a doctor should have been aware of risk factors and warning signs that a mother had the disorder, but failed to recognize them.

Although birth injury and medical malpractice claims are difficult, they can be effectively handled by attorneys who possess the experience, resources, and professional connections with medical experts required in these cases. At Jordan Law, our Denver personal injury lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. We are available to discuss your situation, any injuries you or your child may have suffered during pregnancy or birth, and how we may be able to help you fight for the compensation you are rightfully owed.

To speak with a member of our legal team, contact us today.