What Is OB-GYN Malpractice?
If you’ve been harmed or injured by an obstetrician or gynecologist (OB-GYN), you could be entitled to compensation. Pregnancies can have unforeseen complications, and an OB-GYN is required to address these issues according to an accepted standard of care. Failure to do so could constitute medical malpractice.
What Constitutes OB-GYN Malpractice?
OB-GYN malpractice is the failure of an obstetrician or gynecologist to perform up to the accepted standard of care. OB-GYNs who make decisions or participate in the prenatal and delivery plan of a pregnant woman can be liable for a malpractice claim if they provide a substandard level of care.
If a doctor commits an error or is negligent during the diagnostic, treatment, or follow-up phases of prenatal care, a mother or child can be severely harmed. Wrongful, careless, or reckless actions can worsen an existing condition or create new and avoidable ones.
Common types of OB-GYN malpractice can include:
- Failure to adequately monitor the mother and fetus
- Missed diagnosis
- Incorrect diagnosis
- Surgical errors in Caesarean section
- Waiting too late to order a necessary Caesarean section
- Performing unnecessary procedures or surgery
- Missing or overlooking dangerous prenatal conditions
- Using forceps or other instruments improperly or inappropriately
- Oxygen deprivation; failure to recognize umbilical cord problems
- Brain or organ damage sustained through asphyxiation
- Failure to order appropriate tests
- Mistakes made during laparoscopic surgery
- Inadequate performance of pap smears
- Improper reading of mammograms; failure to follow-up
- Contraception failure
- Inadequate communication with patients and peers
- Negligent hysterectomy
- Loss of childbearing ability
- Failure to detect ectopic or tubal pregnancy
Many of these forms of malpractice can have grave consequences, including fatalities. Cases of medical negligence during pregnancy and childbirth may result in disability or disfigurement of mother or child.
Cost-cutting in healthcare institutions and hospitals have led to the early discharge of the mother and newborn. There may be a lack of proper evaluation of mother and infant. Plus, certain trends in obstetric care have made some areas of practice vulnerable to mistakes.
The most frequent cause of OB-GYN injuries is general medical mismanagement, followed by negligence in a specific procedure and diagnostic problems. Breaches in the standard of care by the obstetrician can result in:
- Negligence during labor and delivery
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Herpes encephalitis lawsuits
- Uterine infection
- Shoulder dystocia
- Klumpke’s Palsy
- Brain injury
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Internal bleeding
- Facial paralysis
- Spinal cord damage
- Death of the fetus or mother
Can I Receive Compensation from an Obstetrics or Gynecology Malpractice Lawsuit?
Numerous forms of compensation are awarded in OB-GYN malpractice lawsuits. Although a financial award may not be able to undo the harm, it can serve to support the mother or family as they navigate an uncertain future. Forms of compensation may include:
- Coverage of medical bills and medical expenses
- Compensation for lost wages or lost earning capacity.
- Wrongful death
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
To find out you could recover compensation for OB-GYN errors or negligence, schedule a consultation to have your situation reviewed by a qualified and credentialed medical malpractice attorney.