When an ectopic pregnancy isn’t properly diagnosed, a woman may be at risk of sustaining serious injuries or even death. If you’re the victim of a misdiagnosed or undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy due to negligent prenatal care, Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help recover damages to which you are entitled.
What is an ectopic pregnancy?
In a normal, healthy pregnancy, a fertilized egg moves into the uterus, where it attaches itself to the uterine walls and begins to develop. In an ectopic or tubal pregnancy, the fertilized egg never makes it to the uterus; instead, the fertilized egg stays in the fallopian tube or another part of the body outside of the uterus.
According to a 2005 study published in American Family Physician, there are several risk factors for an ectopic pregnancy.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Previous ectopic pregnancy
- Cigarette smoking
Regardless of the cause or risk factors of an ectopic pregnancy, a physician’s failure to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy can lead to serious danger for the mother.
Failure to Diagnose an Ectopic Pregnancy
A physician may diagnose an ectopic pregnancy during a normal pelvic exam or ultrasound. The doctor will view the uterus and the fallopian tubes to determine where the embryo is developing. Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy might include vaginal bleeding, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, abdominal cramps, and pain on one side of the body.
An ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening if undiagnosed and untreated. Ectopic pregnancies generally require embryo removal to avoid the rupture of the fallopian tubes. Some doctors will use medication that stops the embryo from growing. Patients should discuss all options with their doctors to determine the best course of action.
If a medical professional does not discover an ectopic pregnancy or fails to remove it properly or stop its growth, then the fertilized egg will begin to grow outside of the uterus. When this happens, the woman’s fallopian tubes may burst. The bursting of the fallopian tube can cause heavy bleeding, which can, in serious cases, result in death for the mother. Ruptures require emergency surgery.
Medical Negligence for Failure to Diagnose an Ectopic Pregnancy
When a healthcare professional does not act within a reasonable standard of care – or the standard accepted by the medical community at large – he or she is said to have acted negligently. When a healthcare professional fails to take the proper actions to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy or does not properly respond to remove the embryo or stop its growth, then that healthcare professional may be liable for any harm caused to the mother as a result.
In New York, the statute of limitations for pursuing a medical malpractice case is 2.5 years from the date of malpractice, according to New York Civil Practices Laws & Rules, section 214-a. If you act within this time frame, you may be able to recover damages for any medical expenses incurred as a result of the medical malpractice, as well as pain and suffering damages and more.
Speak with our Lawyers in New York Today
If you’ve been the victim that resulted in harm, a malpractice attorney from our firm can help you. At Gacovino, Lake & Associates P.C., we are ready to fight for your rights as a medical malpractice victim.
If you need legal help, don’t wait any longer to act. Contact our offices today to set up a consultation with an attorney: 800-550-0000.