Rh Incompatibility Complication Lawyer Helping Chicago Families with Birth Injury Cases
Rh incompatibility (also known as hemolytic disease of the newborn) occurs whenever a woman carries an Rh positive child (with an Rh factor in the baby's blood) and she has Rh-negative blood. The resulting blood incompatibility with the mother's blood causes the creation of antibodies by the immune system that can cause severe injuries to the child and may even be the cause of a miscarriage or stillborn baby.
Proper precautions and monitoring are required for Rh negative mothers during their pregnancies and most complications can be avoided if the patient’s doctor is aware of the problem and treats it correctly. Failure to diagnose or treat Rh incompatibility can have disastrous consequences for newborns and infants and may be cause for a malpractice lawsuit.
Rh Incompatibility Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Rh blood incompatibility may be an avoidable medical condition that could be detected with a blood test in pregnant women and treated by a medical professional. If the doctor has upheld the standard of care, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit. We will obtain the necessary medical records and work with medical experts to help you document and build your case.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC’ birth injury attorneys have represented those who have been affected by acts of negligence during pregnancy and delivery. Give us a phone call or fill out a contact form to schedule your free consultation.
The Cause of Rh Incompatibility
When a pregnant woman who has a negative blood type is exposed to positive blood, the body begins to form antibodies in order to create an autoimmune response in the mother's immune system to what the body perceives as a foreign body in the blood stream. The Rh factor is a protein on red blood cells. Those with the Rh factor are considered Rh positive.
The problem occurs when the fetus' red blood cells cross through the umbilical cord to the placenta. Then, the mother's body will begin to produce antibodies.
In most cases, Rh incompatibility does not happen during a mother’s first pregnancy because the exposure to the child’s Rh positive blood does not occur until delivery of the child. Subsequent pregnancies may be affected if the woman's immune system develops the antibodies in response to exposure to the unborn baby's blood and those antibodies will attack the blood of future Rh positive children that the mother may carry. Rh incompatibility can also result from any of the following causes.
- Exposure to Rh positive blood as a result of a blood transfusion.
- Previous abortion of an Rh positive child.
- A prior ectopic pregnancy
- Fetal maternal hemorrhaging during the pregnancy.
Treatment and Prognosis
A medication called RHOgam is commonly prescribed for Rh negative mothers when they first become pregnant. This medication acts by preventing the formation of the antibodies during or after the first pregnancy so that subsequent pregnancies are not affected.
There are now special immune globulin treatments that are used.
In the event that the antibody has already been produced, there is no cure to Rh sensitivity and the child must be closely monitored throughout the pregnancy for signs of anemia and other complications. Many children of Rh negative mothers with incompatibility also present with jaundice at birth and the elevated bilirubin levels associated with the condition may cause severe brain damage, heart failure, cerebral palsy or death.
In most cases, the prognosis is very positive and when treated properly, there is no cause for concern for either the mother or the child. However, there is great risk in the rare cases where the risk factors are ignored. Then, it becomes a medical emergency which can have long-lasting effects, including permanent injury and high medical expenses.
Rh Incompatibility Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Due to the preventable nature of complications associated with Rh incompatibility, it is important to hold doctors accountable if their failure to perform the proper tests or administer the right care was the cause of birth injuries.
If your child was harmed due to these complications, it is important to discuss your case with a qualified personal injury lawyer to determine if negligence or medical malpractice played a part.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has a proven track record when representing plaintiffs who have been injured during a pregnancy or birth. Our access to medical experts allows us to prove deviation from the standard of care effectively and those same experts can be relied on for expert testimony if your case goes to court. Contact us today for a free consultation so that we can answer your questions and let you know more about your rights.