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Gestational diabetes can pose risks for both mother and baby, which is why the correct diagnosis and medical treatment is essential. As birth injury and maternity negligence specialists, Blackwater Law have extensive experience in handling gestational diabetes claims.
Gestational diabetes is a condition that can occur at any stage of pregnancy, although more frequently in the second or third trimester. It occurs when there is high blood sugar (glucose), owing to the fact that your body is unable to produce enough insulin, to meet additional requirements during pregnancy.
Whilst Gestational diabetes can occur to any pregnant woman, there are a number of factors that raise the risk of the condition occurring. It is therefore vital that medical professionals factor these in, when assessing their patients, otherwise there is an increased likelihood of a gestational diabetes compensation claim. The known risk factors are:
Whilst there are a number of symptoms associated with gestational diabetes, the condition can present itself without any known symptoms. As a result, medical professionals should follow screening tests and where this does not occur and gestational diabetes is developed with further complications to either mother or baby, it may be appropriate to seek compensation for gestational diabetes.
Screening for gestational diabetes is also imperative as many of the symptoms can easily be mistaken for pregnancy on a more general level. Symptoms include:
At your first antenatal appointment, usually during weeks 8 to 12 of pregnancy, your midwife or doctor should ask some questions to assess your risk of developing gestational diabetes.
Depending on the answers to these questions, you may be offered a screening test called an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). This is usually completed later in the pregnancy, during weeks 24 to 28 and involves two blood tests. The first is a fasting blood test, where you are not able to eat or drink for a certain duration prior to the test. A glucose drink is then given, and a subsequent blood test taken.
This screening test is imperative in identifying those with gestational diabetes and in making the most suitable medical plans accordingly. If a medical professional fails to perform this test, despite known risk factors, and if complications arise as a result, you may be able to seek gestational diabetes compensation.
Whilst the majority of women with gestational diabetes go on to deliver healthy babies, it is important to note that the condition does present certain complications, which if not managed suitably can have serious consequences for both mother and baby.
The accurate diagnosis and provision of treatment is important in ensuring the safety of both mother and baby and to minimise the potential for gestational diabetes negligence claims.
Treatment can vary from changes to diet and exercise, through to requiring an early induction or c-section delivery. The most appropriate treatment plan should be discussed directly with you by your midwife or doctor.
Complications that can arise as a result of gestational diabetes include:
Unfortunately, if gestational diabetes is not properly monitored, then both mother and baby are exposed to an increased risk of complications. Gestational diabetes negligence can therefore arise from a number of issues.
Firstly, if a midwife or medical professional fails to spot signs of the condition, or to carry out the appropriate screening test and harm arises as a result.
A claim for gestational diabetes may also arise if medical professionals do not act upon the test results in the appropriate manner and fail to make a suitable treatment plan. Or where they do not take steps to manage and monitor the condition throughout the duration of pregnancy.
Those suffering from gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of having a larger baby (over 4kg). This can increase the possibility of a traumatic birth, making it important for medical professionals to take preventative steps to mitigate the risk of further complications -such as shoulder dystocia, vaginal tears and even stillbirth. It may therefore be medically necessary for a c-section delivery, which, if not completed in a timely way can lead to complications such as cerebral palsy.
Following birth, the baby should be monitored for any complications such as low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and jaundice (sometimes referred to as Kernicterus), which may also require further medical intervention.
It can be a difficult decision to take steps to make a gestational diabetes claim, and as specialist birth injury lawyers, we appreciate this is a significant and important stage. If you, or your baby suffered adversely due to medical negligence then gestational diabetes compensation can be an important part of putting you on the road to recovery.
Gestational diabetes compensation can enable you to pay for additional medical expenses, to re-coup any current or future loss of earnings and to provide future care or treatment as required.
Your claim for gestational diabetes can also act as an important step in ensuring other parents and baby’s do not suffer from the same negligent care that you did. A claim for compensation may encourage NHS and private hospitals to take active steps to avoid future negligence from occurring.
As specialist gestational diabetes compensation lawyers, Blackwater Law understand the importance of your claim. Our medical negligence solicitors have extensive experience in advising clients in relation to a wide ranging of birthing and maternity incidents sustained by mothers and children during pregnancy, or post labour.
Our team is accredited as one of the leading teams of medical negligence lawyers in the South East, by the Legal 500, a ranking of the UK’s top law firms in various specialist legal areas.
If you have had gestational diabetes or believe you may be eligible to pursue a gestational diabetes claim for compensation, call our team on 0800 083 5500.