Down Syndrome & Prenatal Misdiagnosis

Medical Malpractice Lawyer in California

Expectant parents experience months of excitement and planning, as well as their fair share of worries. By seeking medical attention and evaluations from trusted health care providers, however, parents can alleviate many of their concerns by gaining an accurate understanding of their unborn child's condition and development. When medical professionals fail to uphold their duty to provide a reasonable standard of care and misdiagnose a serious health concern such as Down syndrome, the health of a child can be greatly compromised and families can endure long-term burdens.


Was your child born with Down syndrome?
Did your health care provider misdiagnose or fail to diagnose their condition?
Learn more about your rights by calling 888-831-8448 for a FREE consultation.


What is Down syndrome?

Down syndrome is a relatively common genetic disorder caused by the presence of an extra chromosome. It is characterized by a combination of birth defects and disabilities, which can include physical disabilities, characteristic facial features, and various intellectual disabilities. These disabilities can create profound limitations and risks for children as they age, as well as tremendous financial and emotional strains for families. Today, innovations in medical science have allowed health care providers to identify the presence of Down syndrome during pregnancy using prenatal screening.

Prenatal Screening & Down Syndrome

Since the introduction of prenatal screening, many parents informed of a Down syndrome diagnosis elect to discontinue pregnancy. In part because of this and the long-term challenges of raising a child with Down syndrome, it has become an acceptable practice in the United States for physicians to discuss the available of prenatal screening for Down Syndrome. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) also recommends that all pregnant patients should be offered Down syndrome screening tests.

Prenatal testing options for Down syndrome may include:

  • Blood Tests & Ultrasounds – Blood tests and ultrasounds during the first trimester of pregnancy are the most commonly used approach for screening. Health care providers can identify "markers" that may indicate or suggest an increased likelihood of Down syndrome. An ultrasound can then be used to detect fluid at the back of a fetus' neck, which may indicate Down syndrome. This ultrasound test is known as measurement of nuchal translucency. These tests can also be performs during other stages of pregnancy.
  • DNA Testing – medical professionals have the ability to perform diagnostic tests that can identify Down syndrome in samples of genetic material. These samples can be taken from amniotic fluid, part of the placenta, and blood in the umbilical cord.

Parents' Rights After Prenatal Misdiagnosis

If your child was born with a genetic disorder – including Down syndrome – that a medical professional should have identified, you may have a right to file a medical malpractice claim. Prenatal misdiagnosis is a serious and increasingly concerning development in the medical and legal communities. Wrongful life or wrongful birth cases, as these medical malpractice claims are known, center on the concept that parents have the right to know about any genetic disorders in their unborn children so that they have the choice to continue or terminate a pregnancy. These are profound and emotionally charged cases, and they demand the attention of experienced, compassionate and proven lawyers.

For more information about your rights and how a California prenatal misdiagnosis lawyer from Bostwick & Peterson can be of assistance, call 888-831-8448 for a FREE consultation.

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