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Medical Groups Race to Identify COVID-19 Risks to Mom and Baby

Pregnant patient with a doctor

Many expectant parents are now facing a new reality and uncertainty about the health care risks related to coronavirus exposure. So far, According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, current data on COVID-19 does not suggest pregnant women are at greater risk of getting the virus but similar to other respiratory infections, they are at higher risk of harm due to a slightly compromised immune system caused by pregnancy. A respiratory infection that is left undiagnosed or untreated can lead to more injury and damage to a mother and her baby.

Doctors Are Changing Prenatal Care

In a feature article titled, Pregnant in a time of coronavirus—the changing risks and what you need to know and published by The Conversation, the author suggests prenatal care in a time of coronavirus will continue to look much different in the months ahead.

“Typically, a pregnant woman has about 14 prenatal visits. That may be reduced by approximately half, with telemedicine playing a larger role. Telemedicine is already endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for patients in rural settings,” wrote author Hector Chapa, a clinical assistant professor and director of interprofessional education at Texas A&M University’s College of Medicine. “Now the pandemic is making virtual-care solutions an indispensable tool. Pregnant women are able to do some at-home monitoring, such as for high blood pressure, diabetes and contractions, and telemedicine can even be used by pregnancy consultants, such as endocrinologists and genetic counselors.”

Patients with specific health conditions or babies with suspected birth defects may require more traditional follow-up and watchful bedside care.

Delivery Looks Different

As more hospitals limit visitors due to coronavirus risks, sometimes including partners to pregnant women, laboring becomes extra stressed without support. Unfortunately, these extra safety precautions may be a reality right now.

Chapa went onto say, “Both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine believe, in most cases, the timing of delivery should not be dictated by the mother’s COVID-19 diagnosis. Women infected early in pregnancy who recover should see no change to their delivery schedule. For women infected later in pregnancy, it is reasonable to attempt to postpone the delivery, as long as no other medical reason arises, until the mother receives a negative test result.”

Medical malpractice related to birth injuries caused by coronavirus may only be present if there were significant missed opportunities for misdiagnosing an issue with a mother or her baby, or a medical professional failed to prevent the injury from occurring.

Request a Free Consultation to Evaluate Your Birth Injury Lawsuit

Medical malpractice cases related to injuries to infants are handled slightly differently than standard personal injury cases. If you or your child suffered due to a misdiagnosis or treatment of a medical condition during pregnancy or labor, you should seek legal assistance immediately. Your attorney can begin gathering essential information needed for a claim, as soon as you are ready. Contact the experienced lawyers at Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation to discuss your case by calling (877) 374-1417.