Prenatal Screenings Help Mothers Identify Birth Defects

Our Chicago birth accident attorneys know that the legal landscape is often changing. The statutes which guide many aspects of the legal world can be altered on a yearly basis. In addition, the common law can change just as quickly with new logic and court decisions affecting how the courts apply certain arguments and what legal strategies are applicable in any given setting. Further, birth injury law also changes based on new developments in the medical world. Many Illinois birth injury lawsuits are premised on a common law negligence theory of liability. The determination of negligence is rooted in the reasonable actions of the involved parties. However, reasonableness is based upon norms at any given moment. As medical knowledge increases or practices change, those norms change as well. All of this means that it is increasingly important to pay attention to the changes in the altering standards of care provided to expecting mothers and during birth to understand how the law may apply in any given situation.

It is always helpful for parents to educate themselves about the tools available to them during a pregnancy to take an active role in the care that they receive. For example, yesterday Slate published a story which explained how prenatal screenings are often available to expectant parents to let them know ahead f time of their child has a birth defect. Yet, many parents do not have these screenings. The author explained that this occurs because of a lack of proper guidance from caregivers and policymakers.

The article argues that medical insurers and advisory groups do not support the prenatal screening measures. The major insurance companies often do not cover the procedures, and so most families do not have them conducted. This is particularly problematic, because these decisions limiting the use of screenings were made decades ago, before major advances in the technology were available. Many more major birth defects can be identified ahead of time now than in the past. The United States remains one of the few developed countries where these scans are not a routine part of prenatal care.

It remains important for families to learn about birth defects as early as possible, because it often allows doctors to treat the condition. For example, when an infant has a heart problem, steps can be taken to ensure that oxygen deprivation does not strike, which is more likely if doctors are surprised by the defect during the child’s birth. Researchers explain that a shocking 70% of heart defects go unnoticed until a child’s birth. In addition, some types of spina bifidia can be corrected via surgery before birth. This correction may prevent the child from living the rest of their lives with an incurable paralysis.

For these reasons, the Illinois birth defect lawyers at Levin & Perconti encourage all parents to have these prenatal screenings if possible. As always, we remain open to helping all families who have children with a variety of birth injuries that they suspect were caused by the inadequate care that they received. Please consider giving our office a call to learn how we might be able to help in your case.

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