When pregnancy amniotic fluid tests like ultrasounds reveal abnormal levels of amniotic fluid, proper care and treatment should be provided to address the issue. If failure to provide this level and standard of care results in severe or fatal complications, there may be legal recourse available through a medical malpractice claim.
Negligent Prenatal Care Related to Abnormal Amniotic Fluid Levels
Pregnancy amniotic fluid tests can reveal the presence of oligohydramnios (too little amniotic fluid) or polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid). An ultrasound test may be administered that measures the depth of the fluid in the four quadrants of the uterus, which are then added to determine the amniotic fluid index (AFI).
If fluid levels are at very low levels and/or if the fluid levels are creating unsafe conditions for the fetus, induction of labor may be recommended. In some cases, treating abnormal amniotic fluid levels that are too low may involve a procedure known as amnioinfusion around delivery time – this involves infusing the uterus with saline solution.
If fluid levels are found to be too high, treating abnormal amniotic fluid levels may entail measures to lower fluid levels, such as amniocentesis to remove some of the excess fluid. If a medical condition, such as elevated blood sugar levels, is to blame treatment for that may take care of the fluid levels. Or the mother may be given indomethacin, which reduces urine production.
Proving Negligent Prenatal Care
In either case, women with these conditions should be properly monitored to check fluid levels. Failure to monitor women with these conditions or failure to assess for birth defects or other complications may indicate medical negligence.
Medical records or expert testimony from a medical professional may help to demonstrate that a lack of proper prenatal care or monitoring led to complications and injuries. If negligent care was an issue, compensation could be available to address damages with help from an attorney. Although these conditions cannot be prevented, proper pregnancy amniotic fluid testing and treatment may help reduce risk of complications.