Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for an Ultrasound Error?
Posted in Medical Malpractice on April 5, 2021
During pregnancy, we expect the obstetricians, nurses, and other medical professionals overseeing our care to perform their jobs in a competent manner. This expectation extends to ultrasounds exams, which healthcare workers use to examine a developing fetus and quickly diagnose serious conditions.
Unfortunately, errors can occur during an ultrasound, leading to potentially serious complications for both mother and child. If you or your child suffered injuries due to an ultrasound error, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Common Types of Ultrasound Errors
Ultrasound exams are an important part of prenatal care. An ultrasound is a diagnostic medical imaging technology that medical professionals use to capture images inside of your body. During pregnancy, obstetricians use ultrasound to confirm a baby’s sex, diagnose prenatal complications such as ectopic pregnancy, and ensure that the fetus is developing normally.
If a medical professional commits an error while performing an ultrasound, he or she may fail to detect serious conditions, putting you and your child at risk of injury. Ultrasound errors can occur for several reasons, from defective equipment to poor training. Common ultrasound errors include the following.
- Poor imaging: The ultrasound may fail to capture high quality images, which increases the chances that a health care provider may misinterpret the results. Poor training, lack of thorough examination of the images, and defective equipment can be responsible for poor image quality.
- Poor equipment maintenance: Hospitals and other healthcare facilities have a responsibility to ensure that their ultrasound equipment is in good working condition. The facility must maintain and inspect the equipment regularly. If the equipment is in poor condition, the medical professional may be unable to detect serious conditions.
- Inadequate training and supervision: Medical professionals must receive stringent training to complete ultrasound exams. If an inadequately trained worker performs the exam, he or she will not have the expertise necessary to properly capture the images or interpret the results. Additionally, lack of supervision can increase ultrasound errors.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim After an Ultrasound
If you or your child sustained an injury due to an ultrasound error, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the at-fault medical professional. The sonographer, radiologist, physician, nurse, or even the facility itself may be liable for your injuries. To prove your right to compensation, you will need to prove the following four elements.
- The medical professional owed you a duty of care. All healthcare workers have a responsibility to uphold a certain standard of care while treating patients.
- The medical professional breached his or her duty of care through a negligent act or omission. An ultrasound error often rises to the level of a breach of duty.
- The breach of duty directly caused you or your child’s injuries.
- You or your child sustained damages as a result of the ultrasound error, such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Proving a medical malpractice lawsuit can be challenging without an attorney on your side. A Missouri ultrasound error lawyer will have the resources, knowledge, and experience to build a compelling case for your right to compensation. Your attorney can also enlist the help of medical expert witnesses who can examine your ultrasound results and establish the at-fault party’s negligence.
A medical malpractice lawyer can also conduct an in-depth investigation into your ultrasound exam, help gather evidence, and explain your optimal pathways to compensation. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.