Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents that cause injuries are all too frequent. When a pregnant woman is injured, there are two patients with medical needs involved. Both baby and mom are interdependent; what happens to one affects the other.
Errors may make an injury worse
Receiving a traumatic injury while pregnant is the largest cause of death of both mother and baby in utero. While the severity of injury may indicate the chance of survival, there are some medical errors that directly contribute to the wrongful deaths of pregnant accident victims and their unborn children. Here are three ways that further injury or death happen due to medical error according to the Mayo Clinic.
Improper treatment of shock
A pregnant woman’s physical changes mean that there are automatic measures her body takes to protect her unborn child. This means that low volumes of fluid and blood in the mother’s body may not be as apparent. Emergency care providers need to be proactive about keeping volumes of fluid and blood in the mother’s body to avoid her going into shock.
Not conducting a vaginal exam
If a vaginal exam is not done in the emergency room, providers can miss out on conditions such as vaginal bleeding, ruptured amniotic sac or umbilical cord issues.
Not performing blood typing
Medical providers run the risk of endangering their pregnant patient if they do not perform blood typing while treating her injuries. At issue is the mother’s Rh (D) status. If she is negative, she needs to be administered anti-D immune globulin. This will prevent her from having a dangerous immune response to Rh positive blood.