Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. Like type 1 and type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes affects the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes can be managed with diet, exercise, and medication. However, if it is left undiagnosed or untreated—then the effects can be potentially dangerous for both mother and child.
Screening and Diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes
According to the Mayo Clinic, there is currently no agreement among medical experts about how pregnant women should be screened for gestational diabetes. It is up to each individual doctor to decide on the right screening for each patient based on the patient’s risk factors. Generally, a screening test should be administered between 24 and 28 weeks gestation. However, if a mother-to-be has certain risk factors, then the screening test should be administered earlier.
What Happens If Gestational Diabetes Is Undiagnosed and Untreated
The failure to diagnose gestational diabetes can result in a birth injury. The fetus may be exposed to extra insulin and high glucose levels. This can result in a:
- Big baby. Formally known as fetal macrosomia, this condition means that the baby is unusually large. An unusually large baby may suffer shoulder dystocia or brachial plexus injuries during delivery.
- Premature birth. An early delivery can result in respiratory distress, brain injuries, and developmental delays.
These risks can be significantly decreased or eliminated if there is a prompt diagnosis of gestational diabetes and treatment plan that is implemented quickly.
What to Do If Your Child Has Been Hurt by Your Doctor’s Failure to Diagnose Gestational Diabetes
If your doctor failed to screen you for gestational diabetes, failed to diagnose you with gestational diabetes after the test results came back, or failed to provide you with appropriate treatment options—your doctor may have been negligent and your child may have the right to recover damages in a birth injury lawsuit. Damages could include compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation therapies, out-of-pocket costs, future lost income, pain, and suffering.
To get started protecting your child’s rights, please contact an experienced birth injury attorney today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.