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The Misdiagnosis of an Ectopic Pregnancy

Though pregnancy may seem like an easy condition to diagnose, there are numerous possibilities for misdiagnosis. When physicians are negligent and incorrectly identify a medical condition, there can be fatal consequences. The development of the fetus in the womb is an intricate and delicate process. By failing to adequately diagnose problems or potential issues, doctors place the mother and the child at risk. The misdiagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy can prove particularly dangerous and a negligent physician should be held accountable for his or her actions.

What is ectopic pregnancy?

In a normal pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants in the lining of the uterus to develop and grow. As explained by the Mayo Clinic, the egg sometimes implants in other areas of the reproductive system, resulting in an ectopic pregnancy. Possible places for ectopic pregnancy include:

*Fallopian tubes – These are the tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus, for movement of the unfertilized egg each month. A pregnancy in this area of the body is commonly referred to as a tubal pregnancy.

*Abdominal Cavity – Though it rarely occurs, the fertilized egg sometimes implants in the abdomen of the mother. It may also occur as a secondary implanting that began as a tubal pregnancy, with the fertilized egg moving from the tubes to the abdomen.

*Ovary – A fertilized egg in the ovary is also characterized as an ectopic pregnancy. It typically occurs when the egg does not release during ovulation. Instead, the fertilization process occurs within the ovary.

*Cervix – A cervical pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants in the uterine endocervix. Though this type of pregnancy normally aborts during the first few months gestation, it may continue if the implanting occurs close to the uterine cavity

The Dangers of Ectopic Pregnancies

Ectopic pregnancies can be fatal for the mother and the infant. It is virtually impossible for the pregnancy to continue without causing significant damage to the mother’s reproductive system and other bodily functions. For example, in a tubal pregnancy, a ruptured fallopian tube can lead to excessive bleeding. Abdominal pregnancies can lead to bleeding into the abdomen, resulting in low blood pressure, anemia and infection.

There are numerous risk factors for ectopic pregnancies, including:

***A history of ectopic pregnancies
***Sexually Transmitted Infections
***Fertility treatments
***Unusually formed reproductive system
***Contraceptives

When these conditions are present in a pregnant woman, it is the responsibility of the treating physician to administer tests and properly diagnose the presence of an ectopic pregnancy. With proper examination, ectopic pregnancies are generally diagnosable by the with week of gestation. When this does not occur, the family can be left to deal with difficult physical and emotional damages. With the help of a capable attorney, victims can secure the financial compensation that they deserve.

If your ectopic pregnancy was misdiagnosed, causing injury to your or your baby, contact the experienced birth injury attorneys of Levin & Perconti.

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