Clinic Fails to Ensure Timely Ultrasound, Wrongful Birth Claim Prompts $4M Settlement

December 27, 2013 | Physician Practice News

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A malpractice lawsuit alleging wrongful birth against a federally funded health clinic has settled for $4 million, according to a report published in the November 2013 issue of Malpractice Verdict Review with Analysis (subscription required). The mother was 20 years old when she received prenatal care from the clinic for her first pregnancy. The lawsuit claimed that at 14 weeks, the mother received a prescription to go to another facility for a second trimester ultrasound. That facility performed an ultrasound but also informed the defendant facility that it was too early to perform a second trimester test, so the patient should return in one month for her second trimester ultrasound. The defendant facility allegedly failed to inform the patient that she underwent the test too early and needed to return for a properly-timed ultrasound. Clinicians at the facility also allegedly failed to ask whether the mother had undergone the ultrasound during her 18- and 21-week visits. At this time, the mother switched to another obstetrician/gynecologist for prenatal care and the next ultrasound was not performed until 29 weeks.

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