Maternal-Fetal Medicine Expert Witnesses
Deep insight into cases involving high-risk pregnancies
Maternal-fetal medicine (MFM), or perinatology, is the branch of obstetrics that focuses on the medical and surgical management of high-risk pregnancies. MFM specialists, also known as perinatologists, are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of complex medical conditions that can arise during pregnancy, including high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, preterm labor, fetal growth problems, and genetic disorders. MFM specialists also provide counseling and support to pregnant women and their families, helping them make informed decisions about their pregnancies and birth plans.
Becoming a perinatologist in the United States begins with earning a medical degree (MD or DO), followed by a four-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology. After completing residency, MFM specialists complete a three-year fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine, which involves specialized training in diagnosing and managing complex medical conditions that can arise during pregnancy. Board Certification in maternal-fetal medicine is administered by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG).
Maternal-fetal medicine specialists have training in obstetric ultrasound, invasive prenatal diagnosis using amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, and the management of high-risk pregnancies. Some of them are further trained in fetal diagnosis and prenatal therapy, where they become competent in advanced procedures such as targeted fetal assessment using ultrasound and Doppler, fetal blood sampling and transfusion, fetoscopy, and open fetal surgery.
What is maternal-fetal medicine malpractice?
Because perinatologists deal with high-risk pregnancies, the consequences of malpractice can be significant for both the mother and the baby. Some examples of MFM malpractice include:
- Failure to diagnose fetal abnormalities.
- Failure to diagnose risk factors such as preeclampsia or gestational disabilities.
- Improper use of medical devices or procedures such as fetal monitors, ultrasounds, or amniocentesis.
- Errors in medication dosage or administration.
- Inappropriate management of labor and delivery.
The role of a perinatologist as an expert witness
MFM specialists are often key expert witnesses in birth injury cases that center on an OB/GYN or perinatologist’s failure to provide adequate prenatal care or manage labor and delivery. For example, if the baby sustained a birth injury because of a failure to diagnose preeclampsia, an experienced MFM specialist can explain the diagnostic standard of care and whether an error or omission caused the birth injury. MFM specialists are likewise critical witnesses in medical malpractice cases involving maternal death or injury to the mother during childbirth.
In addition, when a pregnant person is involved in an incident such as a car accident, an MFM specialist can testify regarding the effects of injuries sustained in the accident on the pregnancy and the fetus. An MFM specialist can help to explain the causes of a maternal injury, the extent of the damage, and the likely long-term implications for both the mother and the baby.
We can find the right medical expert for your case
For decades, the team at Rieback Medical-Legal Consultants has been working with some of America’s finest birth injury, medical malpractice, and personal injury attorneys in high-stakes cases. We have access to highly qualified, Board Certified maternal-fetal medicine specialists who are available for case reviews, consultations, depositions, and trial testimony. If you need an MFM specialist to consult on a legal matter, contact us for a free case summary review.