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What is prenatal negligence?

Prenatal care provided by obstetricians and other health care specialists is designed to ensure that mothers have the safest and healthiest pregnancies and outcomes as possible. This includes providing preventative measures to decrease the possibility of injury or death to the mother and child. Despite receiving prenatal care, poor outcomes do occur. How do you know when these outcomes are the result of prenatal negligence/medical malpractice?

While every case is different, a few general rules apply. First, in each situation doctors, nurses and other health care providers owe the patient a duty of care. This means that they must provide the patient the expected level of care for that area of practice or specialty. For prenatal care this may include steps such as doing a thorough assessment of a patient's medical history and background, providing regular examinations throughout the patient's pregnancy and documenting each patient's visits, providing genetic testing or other risk assessment to identity and potential risks and complications, treating and supervising complication that may arise, and educating patients on proper nutrition.

Where the failure to meet the standard of care leads to harm of the mother or child, prenatal negligence may have occurred. However, this is a complex determination. In most situations, a review of the medical records is needed. As a result, if you believe you or your child may have suffered harm as the result of prenatal negligence, it is important to speak to an experienced California birth injury lawyer who can help answer your questions and begin the process of collecting records, and evaluating your case. For more information, please contact the experienced California medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.



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