Gestational diabetes is a condition that affects certain at-risk women in the mid to latter part of pregnancy. If left unmonitored or poorly treated by a physician, the condition has the potential to produce large-sized babies that may have difficulties progressing down the birth canal. The effects of maternal gestational diabetes may even cause low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) in a newborn baby.
According to the American Diabetes Association, gestational diabetes affects 18 percent of women during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes develops when a woman's body can no longer make the extra insulin it needs for pregnancy. At The Law Office of Robert H. Kleinschmidt, P.C., in Scottsdale, our attorney works hard to help hold negligent medical professionals accountable and to help you recover the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes?
The cause of gestational diabetes is unknown, but the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy may be a factor. Women with a body mass index (BMI) over 30, or those with a close family history of diabetes, are more at risk for developing the condition.
During pregnancy, the body may require up to three times as much insulin as it does in a non-pregnancy state. The placenta produces high levels of hormones that block the action of insulin. This causes blood glucose levels to rise, resulting in a condition called maternal hyperglycemia.
Risks To An Unborn Child
Your medical care providers are responsible for ensuring that you are accurately diagnosed and receive prompt and proper treatment all throughout pregnancy. Undetected or medically mismanaged cases of gestational diabetes can harm both mother and child.
When an expectant mother has gestational diabetes, excessive amounts of glucose are able to pass through the placenta. As a result, your baby's pancreas is forced to make extra insulin. This causes a condition called macrosomia, in which your baby becomes too large. Very large babies are more likely to sustain brachial plexus (Erb's Palsy) or forceps injuries during birth or become wedged in the birth canal, during a vaginal delivery. Cesarean sections are often necessary to deliver a large baby safely.
Physician's Failure To Monitor
If your physician failed to diagnose, or to properly monitor or treat you for Gestational Diabetes, your baby may be at risk for suffering Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome shortly after his birth. He may require the use of oxygen, or even a breathing tube to help him breathe properly. In the next hours or days, your child will be monitored closely by the pediatrician for these types of complications:
Infant hypoglycemia — high insulin levels in babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes may cause the baby to develop low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) after it is born. If left untreated or poorly monitored, hypoglycemia may lead to infant seizures, brain damage, and learning problems.
Jaundice — jaundice or hyperbilirubinemia, is characterized by a yellowish discoloration of the skin and the whites of the eyes. It occurs when a baby's liver hasn't developed enough to break down bilirubin, a substance produced when the body recycles blood cells.
Should You See An Attorney Who Understands Gestational Diabetes Claims?
If you feel that your baby suffered injury or permanent disability due to gestational diabetes that was undetected or improperly treated, consult with our lawyer as soon as possible after your baby's injury.
You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and other losses related to the birth injury. Attorney Robert H. Kleinschmidt will assess your situation to determine if you have a case and advise you of your options under the law. Call our offices today at 480-951-3949 or contact us online for more information. From our Scottsdale offices, we provide representation to people throughout the greater Phoenix, Arizona area.