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Ultrasound errors can have catastrophic consequences

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

While welcoming a new baby into your family is exciting, it can also be scary. After all, if the baby growing inside you has developmental problems or other medical issues, he or she may be in for a lifetime of health complications. 

Ultrasound scans often help medical professionals identify problems when there is still enough time to remedy them. These scans use high-frequency sound waves to photograph inside your body. If something goes wrong with the ultrasound process, though, you or your unborn baby may be in imminent danger. 

A critical diagnostic tool 

Ultrasounds have become commonplace in modern medicine. When it comes to the child growing inside you, these critical diagnostic tools provide some valuable information. That is, a technician or doctor may use the ultrasound for any of the following purposes: 

  • To verify your pregnancy and calculate your due date 
  • To determine the age and gender of your baby 
  • To monitor the baby’s heartbeat 
  • To track fetal development 
  • To identify potential medical conditions or complications 

Medical diligence 

While an ultrasound gives you and your doctor essential information about your pregnancy, there is plenty of room for error. For example, a technician may perform the ultrasound incorrectly or incompletely. A doctor may also fail to review the ultrasound or miss a critical diagnosis. Therefore, medical professionals must exercise both care and diligence. 

Potential problems 

Because fetuses grow and change over time, it is often necessary for expectant mothers to undergo a few ultrasounds during pregnancy. While ultrasound errors can happen for a variety of reasons, some causes are more common than others. Here are a few of them: 

  • Poor image quality 
  • Old, damaged or ineffective ultrasound equipment 
  • Insufficient technician training 
  • Misinterpretation of ultrasound results 
  • Inadequate follow-up or post-scan review 

You can probably trust your ultrasound technician and physician to act responsibly. Still, if either you or your baby ends up with a serious injury or medical complication, it may be worthwhile to explore whether there was a problem with the ultrasounds you received during your pregnancy.