Our Connecticut Oligohydramnios Lawyers Help Families Recover Following Diagnosis during Pregnancy
During pregnancy, the amniotic fluid serves an essential role in the fetus’s development. It is necessary to the development of the digestive system, limbs, lungs, and muscles, and it helps to protect the fetus as it grows and shifts in the womb. As a result, when not enough amniotic fluid is present, this can present a number of risks for the fetus. The condition of not having enough amniotic fluid is referred to as oligohydramnios.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, about four percent of mothers are diagnosed with oligohydramnios during their pregnancies, and oligohydramnios causes complications, “in about 12 percent of pregnancies that go past 41 weeks.” However, these complications can often be prevented with appropriate medical care. As a result, if your child has experienced complications caused by oligohydramnios, you should consult with an experienced Connecticut oligohydramnios attorney, as your family may be entitled to financial compensation for malpractice.
What Can (And Should) Doctors Do to Mitigate the Risk of Complications Due to Oligohydramnios during Pregnancy?
Due to the prevalence of oligohydramnios, it is a risk that should be addressed during all pregnancies. This begins with assessing maternal risk factors as early in the pregnancy as possible – if not prior to the mother becoming pregnant. Maternal risk factors that can increase the chances of a fetus developing abnormally due to insufficient amniotic fluid include:
- Chronic hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Genetic predisposition
- Gestational diabetes
- Kidney conditions that require the use of an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor
- Pregnancy lasting beyond 41 weeks
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Thrombotic disorder
- Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
These and other risks can lead to various conditions that can result in reduced amniotic fluid during pregnancy. Examples of these conditions include:
- Absence of functional renal tissue or obstructive uropathy
- Decreased renal perfusion
- Fetal chromosomal abnormalities or malformations
- Intrauterine growth restriction (IGR)
- Post-term gestation
- Premature rupture of amniotic membranes (PROM)
During pregnancy, the mother’s doctor should monitor for signs of these and other conditions; and, if a risk for oligohydramnios is identified, then appropriate steps should be taken to mitigate the risks to the fetus. If the amount of amniotic fluid in the womb is insufficiently low, then the mother’s doctor should provide appropriate care and recommendations for delivering the baby as safely as possible. Failure to consult, failure to diagnose, and failure to treat are all common forms of malpractice during pregnancy for which families in Connecticut can recover financial compensation.
What Are the Complications Associated with Oligohydramnios?
Oligohydramnios during pregnancy can lead to both short-term and long-term complications for the baby. Once again, it is the doctor’s responsibility to identify the risk of these complications and timely provide appropriate care in order to protect the baby, and the mother, to the fullest extent possible. Complications associated with oligohydramnios, or low amniotic fluid, during pregnancy include:
- Amniotic band syndrome
- Birth defects caused by compression of the baby’s organs (fetal compression syndrome)
- Limb contractures
- Incomplete lung development
- Increased risk of fetal death (miscarriage or stillbirth)
- Preterm birth
- Pulmonary hypoplasia
- The need for a cesarean (C-section) delivery
- Umbilical cord compression
What Is the Prognosis for the Fetus or Child Following an Oligohydramnios Diagnosis?
According to Patient, “The earlier in pregnancy that oligohydramnios occurs, the poorer the prognosis. Fetal mortality rates as high as 80-90% have been reported with oligohydramnios diagnosed in the second trimester.” The specific risks for the fetus or child depend on the timing and severity of oligohydramnios as well as the specific complications that result. In some cases, it may be possible for the child to fully recover and not experience any long-term ill effects. However, as noted above, inadequate amniotic fluid also has the potential to be fatal, and this makes it absolutely essential for doctors to diagnose and address the risks of oligohydramnios as early as possible.
In terms of treatment, what is necessary will depend on the specific complications experienced during or after pregnancy. Regular monitoring is critical, and doctors must ensure that expecting mothers and new parents have a clear understanding of what is necessary in order to mitigate the risk of serious or fatal complications resulting from oligohydramnios.
Speak with a Skilled Connecticut Oligohydramnios Attorney
At Berkowitz Hanna, we help Connecticut families recover just compensation for complications and birth injuries resulting from malpractice. If you would like to speak with a Connecticut oligohydramnios lawyer about filing a claim for failure to properly diagnose or treat oligohydramnios, we invite you to call us or contact us online for a free consultation.