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Misdiagnosed Gestational Diabetes

Misdiagnosed gestational diabetes subjects the mother and the fetus to increased health risks, including preeclampsia, excessive birth weight, and stillbirth. A doctor has a duty to screen for this condition at an appropriate time during pregnancy based on the mother’s risk profile. If you or your child has suffered harm because of a gestational diabetes misdiagnosis, our nationally recognized birth injury lawyers can help you pursue substantial compensation.

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When a health care provider fails to provide quality prenatal care, the mother and fetus can suffer serious preventable harm. Gestational diabetes affects 2 to 10 percent of pregnancies in the United States and rarely causes symptoms. As a result, screening is often the only way to detect this condition.

Our award-winning birth injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti have helped parents recover settlements ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions for medical neglect. If you or your child has been injured because of misdiagnosed gestational diabetes, contact us immediately to pursue the compensation you deserve.

What Is Gestational Diabetes?

Diabetes is an intolerance to carbohydrates caused by the body’s inability to make enough insulin or use insulin to manage blood sugar efficiently. As a result, blood sugar remains elevated rather than getting into the cells, where it can be used for energy. Instead, it damages blood vessels, increasing cardiovascular risks and damage to the eyes, kidneys, and other internal organs.

The hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause insulin resistance, a condition in which the body uses insulin less efficiently. Insulin resistance can lead to diabetes in pregnant women who previously did not have diabetes. This is what is known as gestational diabetes.

How Is Gestational Diabetes Diagnosed?

Gestational diabetes is generally diagnosed through the following tests:

Glucose challenge test – The patient drinks a vial of sugary liquid, and the blood glucose level is tested an hour later. Diabetes is diagnosed if the blood glucose level is 200 mg per deciliter or higher. Any level below 140 is considered normal.

Glucose tolerance test – The patient drinks a vial of liquid that contains a stronger sugar solution and undergoes blood testing every hour for three hours. If two of the three glucose readings are higher than expected, gestational diabetes is diagnosed. The fasting glucose level is also taken before the test commences.

The glucose tolerance test may be prescribed as a follow-up test when the glucose challenge test result is above 140 but below 200. It may also be ordered as the sole testing method for women at an elevated risk for gestational diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that women at average risk be tested for gestational diabetes at 24-28 of gestation. Screening of women with higher risks should commence at 15 weeks.

Any doctor who fails to prescribe at least this level of gestational diabetes screening violates the reasonable standard of care and may be found negligent if a patient is harmed because of a failure to diagnose gestational diabetes.

How Can A Misdiagnosis Of Gestational Diabetes Happen?

Gestational diabetes rarely causes symptoms, so screening is usually the only way to detect it. Gestational diabetes misdiagnosis occurs as a result of any of the following:

  • Failure to test patients not classified as high-risk
  • Failure to order early testing of high-risk patients
  • Misreading of test results
  • Failure to order follow-up testing when results are borderline

False positives can also occur due to errors during gestational diabetes screening. It is possible for a single test result to show elevated glucose as a result of the following:

  • Failure to confirm the diagnosis with a follow-up test
  • Falsely elevated glucose levels stemming from a carbohydrate-restricted diet or fasting
  • Improper storage and handling of blood samples
  • Failure to immediately spin and separate the sample after it is drawn

Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes

The following characteristics increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes, according to the CDC:

  • History of gestational diabetes
  • Family history of Type II diabetes
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Previous delivery of a child over nine pounds
  • Being overweight
  • Age older than 45
  • Being non-white

Prenatal care providers must be familiar with a patient’s complete medical and family history to identify high-risk patients.

Potential Consequences Of Gestational Diabetes Misdiagnosis

When gestational diabetes goes undetected, an expectant mother misses the opportunity to receive treatment that could control blood sugar and prevent further complications. As a result, she can miss out on the chance to enjoy a healthy pregnancy and have a healthy baby. Instead, she may experience the following complications:

  • Excessive weight gain in the fetus
  • Birth complications, such as shoulder dystocia
  • Greater likelihood of needing a C-section
  • Defects of the heart, brain, and spinal cord at birth
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders in the baby
  • Heightened risk of preeclampsia
  • Damage to the mother’s kidneys, liver, and other organs
  • Low blood glucose in the baby at birth
  • Risk of breathing problems in the baby
  • Preterm birth
  • Stillbirth

Can I File A Lawsuit For Gestational Diabetes Misdiagnosis?

If your doctor missed a gestational diabetes diagnosis, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against any licensed health care provider that contributed to your misdiagnosis, including a doctor, laboratory worker, hospital, or doctor’s office. You will need to prove that the misdiagnosis stemmed from negligence.

What Type Of Compensation Can I Expect In a Gestational Diabetes Misdiagnosis Lawsuit?

Compensation for a misdiagnosis of gestational diabetes includes damages for the harm suffered by the mother and the baby. You may recover medical expenses already incurred and projected future medical expenses. You can pursue lost wages if you have missed work or sustain a reduced earning capacity.

You can also seek damages for your pain and suffering. This includes any non-monetary losses that affect your quality of life. For example, if you suffered kidney damage due to uncontrolled gestational diabetes, you may have lost some kidney function. You deserve compensation for this.

You may have experienced birth trauma because of complications while delivering a large baby, or you may have had to undergo a cesarean. The child may have suffered shoulder dystocia, brachial plexus, or other crippling injuries during childbirth due to being larger. This also warrants pain and suffering damages.

When Should I Contact a Gestational Diabetes Misdiagnosis Lawyer?

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Illinois is complex in birth injury cases, so it is important to contact an experienced gestational diabetes misdiagnosis attorney as soon as possible after your injury. Delaying your claim could cost you the right to file a lawsuit, and you deserve a chance to obtain justice.

How Can The Attorneys at Levin & Perconti Help With My Gestational Diabetes Misdiagnosis Lawsuit?

When you contact our experienced and skilled misdiagnosis attorneys, we will leverage our combined 200+ years of experience to win you the compensation you deserve. We have a nationwide network of the best experts in birth injuries working for us, and we will use these connections to strengthen your case.

We will also do the following:

  • Calculate your case value.
  • Refuse to settle for anything less than fair compensation.
  • File your lawsuit ahead of the statute of limitations.
  • Keep fighting until you win the compensation you deserve.

Why Choose Levin & Perconti to Handle My Gestational Diabetes Lawsuit?

We have been standing up for birth injury victims for over 32 years and are well-known as pioneers in birth injury lawsuits. Our knowledge of federal and state law surrounding pregnancy and birth litigation is unmatched.

Attorney Dov Apfel is part of our gestational diabetes misdiagnosis litigation team. He is a nationally recognized advocate for children with disabilities from birth injuries. He has litigated birth injury cases for over 30 years and is the author of a landmark law review article that helped shape how birth injury litigation is handled throughout the United States today.

We have an extensive track record of consistently winning remarkable verdicts and settlements in birth injury cases, including prenatal and birth injuries. We recently negotiated an $850,000 settlement for a gestational diabetes misdiagnosis that resulted in diabetic ketoacidosis and the death of a 26-week-old fetus.

This is one of our many successful results for our deserving clients, which also include the following:

  • $40 million verdict awarded for a 19-year-old disabled teen who suffered a severe brain injury at birth due to a delayed C-section
  • $20 million verdict on behalf of a child who suffered preventable HIE and asphyxia injuries at birth, resulting in permanent cognitive and developmental impairments
  • $9 million settlement to the family of a baby who suffered permanent brain damage due to a doctor’s failure to test the mother for Group B Strep Meningitis during prenatal care
  • $2.9 million settlement for a child who suffered mild brachial plexus injuries from medical negligence during birth
  • $1.35 million settlement for a newborn who suffered severe and permanent brachial plexus injuries during delivery, resulting in Erb’s Palsy and the need for ongoing physical and occupational therapy

If you or your loved one has been harmed because of a gestational diabetes misdiagnosis, our award-winning attorneys can help you seek substantial damages. There is no upfront cost for our services, and you only pay if you win. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to questions we frequently receive about gestational diabetes and its misdiagnosis.

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Misdiagnosed gestational diabetes can lead to severe organ damage that could affect your ability to become pregnant or have a safe pregnancy in the future. Misdiagnosed or not, gestational diabetes in any pregnancy increases the likelihood of developing gestational diabetes in a future pregnancy by nearly 50 percent.

Gestational diabetes typically resolves after pregnancy, so you likely will not remain diabetic after the baby is born. However, having gestational diabetes increases your lifetime risk of developing diabetes later in life.

Untreated gestational diabetes can cause life-threatening organ damage to both the mother and the baby. It also increases the risk of developing preeclampsia, which creates added risks for both the mother and the baby.