New Jersey Attorneys Advocating for Victims of Failure to Diagnose or Treat Gestational Diabetes
Diabetes represents a serious health concern for millions of Americans, affecting the way in which their cells convert glucose (sugar) into energy, and causing significant health problems if inadequately managed. Similarly, gestational diabetes affects women during pregnancy, causing high blood sugar and placing undue stress on the mother and her baby. Typically, gestational diabetes occurs in the middle of the pregnancy term. If gestational diabetes is not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, the risks to the mother and child are manifold. For instance, it may cause collateral consequences for the mother such as preeclampsia or developing Type 2 diabetes after child birth. It may also place the child at risk for birth injuries such as shoulder dystocia or brachial plexus injures, as well as related conditions such as Erb’s Palsy.
When obstetricians and other medical professionals fail to adequately diagnose and treat gestational diabetes, the results can be catastrophic. Fortunately, the law provides a mechanism through which to hold them accountable for their negligence. At Fronzuto Law Group, our skilled attorneys advocate for victims of OB-GYN errors, hospital negligence, and other forms of pediatric and medical malpractice across New Jersey. Our specialization in this highly complex area of the law, and our commitment to taking on a limited number of cases, has allowed us to develop extensive knowledge regarding both the medical and legal implications of these cases. We leverage this arsenal of information on a regular basis to achieve maximum compensation for our clients and their families. To find the answers to your questions and learn more about the options that may be available to you, contact our offices anytime at 973-435-4551 or toll free at 888-409-0816.
Gestational Diabetes: The Risks
Gestational diabetes represents a serious health threat for both mothers and their unborn children if it is left undiagnosed or untreated. For the mother, gestational diabetes places her at risk for developing preeclampsia, a condition that involves high blood pressure and excessive protein in the urine, which may lead to seizures, organ damage, or even death. Gestational diabetes may also lead to Type 2 Diabetes after delivery, a long-term health problem that may negatively impact the mother’s life for years if it is improperly managed.
Gestational diabetes may also lead to significant health problems for the baby, causing a host of conditions including fetal macrosomia, which manifests as excessive weight gain and increases the incidence of birth injuries. Specifically, unusually large babies (those that weigh 9 pounds or more) are at an increased risk for birth injuries, as they often become wedged in the birth canal, and may require a C-section delivery. Birth injuries associated with gestational diabetes include brachial plexus injuries and shoulder dystocia. These injuries often cause further complications such as Erb’s Palsy and other neurological impairments.
In some cases, gestational diabetes is a precursor for preterm labor. High blood sugar in the mother increases the likelihood of an early labor and many times, early labor causes the baby to experience respiratory distress syndrome. These breathing difficulties can be life-threatening and may also result in hypoxic brain injuries, damage to the brain resulting from lack of oxygen.
Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes
A number of factors may increase the likelihood that a woman will develop gestational diabetes. Some of the most prominent risk factors for gestational diabetes include:
- If the woman is 25 or older
- If the woman is clinically overweight or with a BMI of over 30
- If the woman had diabetes prior to becoming pregnant
- If the woman had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
- If the woman has a family history of diabetes
- If the woman previously delivered a baby over 9 pounds
Identifying and Treating Gestational Diabetes
Signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes may vary on a case-by-case basis; however, there are several that occur frequently among women with the condition, including:
- Blurred vision
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger
- Increased urination
In order to identify and treat gestational diabetes, doctors should perform a glucose loading test (GLT) when the expectant mother reaches between 24 and 29 weeks. If a woman is diagnosed with gestational diabetes, her obstetrician or treating physician must immediately devise an appropriate treatment plan. Treatment for gestational diabetes generally involves regular blood glucose monitoring, as well as dietary changes and increased physical activity. Doctors should also monitor the baby’s condition and size using ultrasounds and electronic fetal monitoring tests.
Contact our New Jersey Gestational Diabetes Injury Lawyers for Assistance
During pregnancy, it is extremely important to maintain the health of yourself and your baby. Your doctor should serve as your principle supporter and proactive problem-solver during this time. If your obstetrician or treating physician fails to fulfill his or her obligation to protect and preserve your health, he or she can be held accountable through a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you or your baby has suffered harm due to a doctor’s failure to diagnose and/or treat gestational diabetes, contact Fronzuto Law Group today to discuss your case. Consultations are always provided free of charge.
Resources: American Diabetes Association