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Can MRIs Help Prevent Birth Injuries?

San Jose Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Baby FeetAccording to recent trends, yes. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology is becoming an increasingly popular way for physicians to seek and diagnose injuries in newborns. Because MRIs do not use radiation, they can safely be performed on pregnant women. Although ultrasounds are used more frequently to examine a fetus, sometimes they do not provide clear enough images for doctors to make diagnoses or critical decisions about a developing fetus’ health. MRIs can also be used on newborns to diagnose their birth injuries. If your doctor recommends an MRI before your child is born, ask about the procedure and why the doctor feels it is necessary.

As a patient, you have the right to know the reasons behind each procedure performed on you and the risks associated with them. Your doctor has the responsibility to act in your best interest and according to the standard of care for your condition. If your doctor does not act within the standard of care for your condition, you could have grounds for a medical malpractice claim to recover compensation for your damages caused by his or her negligence.

How Does an MRI Work?

To conduct an MRI, the patient is surrounded by an oscillating magnetic field that causes the hydrogen atoms in the patient’s body to enter an excited state and produce a radio frequency signal. This signal is recorded by a receiving coil, which is rapidly switched on and off to obtain an image showing the contrast of the atoms returning to their equilibrium state.

Detecting Birth Injuries Before an Infant is Born and Shortly After Birth MRI can be used to detect the following birth injuries in newborns:

  • Motor disorders;
  • Cerebral palsy;
  • Seizure disorders;
  • Brain damage; and
  • Oxygen deprivation in the brain.

In a developing fetus, MRI technology can also be used to detect developmental abnormalities.

Should I Undergo an MRI During my Pregnancy?

An MRI can provide information that CT scans, x-rays, and ultrasounds cannot. The information obtained through an MRI can be important to a doctor’s diagnosis and the resulting management plan for an expectant mother and her child. This can help the doctor determine if special precautions during the pregnancy or birth, such as a Cesarian section, are necessary to avoid injury to the newborn. When a potentially disabling or fatal abnormality is determined this way, a physician can also counsel expectant parents to determine whether they will carry the pregnancy to term.

Who is At Fault for a Birth Injury?

Sometimes, the doctor is at fault for a birth injury. In other cases, a nurse or another healthcare professional is at fault. In certain circumstances, nobody is at fault for a newborn’s birth defect – a fetus can simply develop abnormally without it being the fault of a healthcare provider. But healthcare providers have the responsibility to notify parents of these abnormalities after ordering appropriate testing. If you were not aware of your child’s birth defect because your doctor failed to order necessary tests based on your risk factors or because he or she failed to discuss potential complications and abnormalities with you, your doctor’s negligence could be grounds for a medical malpractice claim. In short, if another doctor would reasonably have taken a certain step for your well being that your doctor did not take, your doctor was negligent.

When a newborn does suffer an injury as the direct result of a healthcare provider’s negligence, which can come in the form of rough handling, inappropriate use of birth assistance devices such as a vacuum extractor, or failure to order certain tests during pregnancy or warn the child’s parent about potential birth complications or injury risks, the healthcare provider is at fault for your malpractice damages.

Work with an Experienced California Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If your child suffered from a birth injury that could have been detected and potentially corrected if your doctor had taken greater care to diagnose potential birth defects during your pregnancy, consider working with an experienced San Jose medical malpractice lawyer to pursue compensation for your damages through a birth injury claim. Contact our team at Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. today to set up your initial legal consultation with a member of our team.

Client Reviews
My experience with Attorney Brad Corsiglia during my recent medical malpractice case was nothing short of amazing given the very stressful circumstances. I was fortunate to find Brad highly recommended from a mutual contact and from the very beginning of the process, Brad was truly engaged and knowledgeable in understanding my case and providing input on what avenues were available to me. Michelle M.