Experienced Connecticut Vasa Previa Lawyers Ready To Help You
While most pregnancies go smoothly and result in the safe birth of a healthy child, the reality is that there is a lot that can go wrong. Many expecting mothers experience complications during their pregnancies; and, unfortunately, some of these complications result in serious and permanent birth injuries.
One of these complications is vasa previa. While rare, vasa previa presents serious risks for the fetus—and, once diagnosed, emergency medical intervention will often be required. Failure to diagnose vasa previa and failure to timely intervene can both constitute medical malpractice, and families whose children experience unnecessary complications from vasa previa will often be entitled to significant financial compensation. Let the highly-skilled Connecticut vasa previa attorneys at Berkowitz Hanna help you.
What Is Vasa Previa?
Vasa previa is a condition in which the blood vessels in the umbilical cord lie across the cervix, obstructing the fetus’s path into the birth canal. When labor begins, these blood vessels can rupture, and this can present life-altering, and even life-threatening, risks for the fetus. If the blood vessels in the umbilical cord rupture prior to delivery, the fetus’s supply of oxygen will be disrupted, and this will start a race against the clock to ensure that the fetus is born safely.
Due to the risk of the fetus not being born safely in cases of vasa previa, in most cases, an emergency cesarean section (C-section) should be recommended. While this procedure presents its own set of risks, it is still generally considered to be a safer alternative to vaginal delivery in cases of vasa previa. Once an expecting mother is diagnosed with vasa previa, a thorough evaluation should be performed promptly, and appropriate medical steps should be taken to protect the mother and the fetus.
What Are the Risk Factors for Vasa Previa?
Like most complications of pregnancy, there is not one single risk factor that is necessarily indicative of a likelihood of vasa previa. However, there are a number of risk factors that are known to be associated with the condition. For example, some of the most common risk factors for vasa previa include:
- Being pregnant with multiples (e.g., twins or triplets)
- In vitro fertilization
- Placenta previa
- Maternal history of uterine surgery (including prior C-section deliveries)
In many cases, expecting mothers will exhibit no outward symptoms as the result of vasa previa. Therefore, doctors must proactively perform tests during pregnancy in order to diagnose vasa previa (this is true of many other complications of pregnancy as well). Transvaginal scans and ultrasounds can both be used to diagnose vasa previa during pregnancy; and, although vasa previa is rare, doctors must still know to look for signs of this condition so that they can intervene in order to prevent complications if necessary.
If vasa previa is not diagnosed via transvaginal scan or ultrasound, it may be discovered once other complications begin to occur. Each of the following complications may be associated with vasa previa, and each may necessitate emergency intervention in the form of a C-section delivery:
- Premature rupture of membranes (PROM)
- Vaginal bleeding (especially at the time of membrane rupture)
- Low fetal heart rate and other signs of fetal distress
What Are the Fetal Risks Associated with Vasa Previa?
In cases of undiagnosed or improperly-treated vasa previa, fetuses can experience a number of different serious, life-altering, and life-threatening complications. For the most part, these complications all result from the fetus receiving an inadequate supply of oxygen in the womb or birth canal. Some examples of the fetal risks associated with vasa previa include:
- Cerebral palsy (CP)
- Cognitive disabilities and developmental delays
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
- Motor-sensory disorders
- Seizure disorders
What Are Families’ Legal Rights in Cases of Birth Injuries Caused by Vasa Previa?
Although vasa previa is relatively uncommon, the severity of its consequences mandates careful diagnostic, treatment, and intervention measures during pregnancy. If a doctor fails to take appropriate steps to prevent complications from vasa previa during pregnancy, this could give rise to a claim for medical malpractice under Connecticut law. Filing a medical malpractice claim allows families to secure compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, and other financial and non-financial losses; and, for many parents, it is a critical step in the recovery process.
Discuss Your Case with a Trusted Connecticut Vasa Previa Attorneys
Do you have questions about your family’s legal rights following a vasa previa diagnosis? If so, we encourage you to get in touch. To speak with one of our experienced Connecticut vasa previa lawyers about your family’s birth injury case in confidence, please call or request a free consultation online today.