An incompetent cervix is one that is weakened. During pregnancy, as the baby grows and becomes heavier, it presses on the cervix. Before pregnancy the cervix is normally closed and stiff. During labor the cervix becomes shorter and opens up. However, before labor, If the cervix is weakened it can lead to opening before term. With increasing size and weight an incompetent cervix can result in a premature birth. According to the Mayo Clinic, an incompetent cervix is thought to cause as many as 20-25% of miscarriages in the second trimester. Further information from the Mayo Clinic can be found by clicking here. Premature delivery of a baby can result in cerebral palsy, cerebral hemorrhages, breathing problems, intellectual and developmental delays, among other serious injuries.
An incompetent cervix can be caused by genetic conditions, a biopsy of the cervix, D & C procedures; and trauma to the cervix in a prior childbirth. If these risk factors are present, the physician should carefully examine the cervix. Repeated transvaginal ultrasounds and physical examinations may be used to examine the cervix. If there is evidence of premature opening of the cervix, the physician can perform a “cerclage” of the cervix. This procedure involves suturing the cervix closed and helps the cervix to retain the baby until labor begins. At that time the sutures are removed.
Medical malpractice occurs when the physician fails to recognize the risk factors for an incompetent cervix, fails to monitor for or examine for a cervix that is opening up, or fails to undertake treatment (cerclage) of the incompetent cervix.
If you or a loved one have suffered injury as a result of a physician failing to diagnose or treat and incompetent cervix, please contact Mike at 913-789-7477 for a free consultation regarding your claim.