OBGYN Malpractice Explained
Malpractice lawsuits originate in tort laws. These are cases that are built on some sort of negligence that leads to harm, injury or loss. There are many ways that tort laws pan out, and we see them in everything from slip and fall injuries and workers compensation claims to OBGYN malpractice cases. However, OBGYN malpractice cases seem the most shocking because of the implications of each claim made.
Why? Because OBGYN malpractice has to do with pregnancy and childbirth. These events are fairly dangerous on their own, and the ability to have ongoing healthcare throughout a pregnancy (to gauge the health of mother and baby and watch for signs of trouble) and even after the baby is born is wonderful. To learn that a doctor or medical professional did not practice what is known as the medical standard of care is profound.
It is the job of the doctor and medical team to always provide this basic level of care. When they fail to do this in any way, and it results in some sort of injury or loss, it becomes a case of medical malpractice. While it might be understandable that these things occur due to the pressures put on modern doctors, when it is OBGYN malpractice we all tend to feel a bit less acceptance about negligence or failure.
Before, During and After Delivery
Any OBGYN malpractice case can develop during pregnancy and after a baby has been delivered because it is the OBGYN’s duty to keep a close eye on the condition of the mother and the baby and to be prepared for any possible challenges or risks. In other words, it is difficult to accept that there are totally unexpected surprises during a normal and healthy pregnancy. When a mother or child suffers injury at some point, and it is the avoidable type of injury that defines most tort laws, it is unacceptable.
The most common reasons for OBGYN malpractice cases include:
- Failure to diagnose a problem at any point in the pregnancy or during delivery.
- Failure to diagnose prenatal problems.
- Waiting too long to perform a cesarean section.
- Use of forceps or vacuum tools that leads to harm.
- Misdiagnosis of any kind.
- Performing surgical procedures unnecessary to the mother or child.
- Causing birth injury to the baby or mother (including brain injury from oxygen deprivation.
As a simple illustration of malpractice of this kind, an OBGYN might fail to detect ovarian cancer or a genetic problem with a fetus. These are things that the medical professional is supposed to monitor and detect, and when they fail through a misdiagnosis or because they do no monitor conditions properly, it is seen as failing to meet that standard of care.
What to Do
If you are someone who was misdiagnosed or whose infant suffered a birth injury because of the performance of the OBGYN, you must act quickly to pursue a malpractice claim. The burden of proof is on you, and you only have a fixed amount of time to make your claim. Working with a skilled attorney can alleviate a lot of the stresses of building such a case, and may allow you a much more effective process.
Though any and all malpractice cases are horrible, when it involves the health and well being of a mother or baby, or when it is something that was preventable but an OBGYN failed to detect it, there is a way to receive compensation. The first step is to take to an attorney familiar with this area of the law and experienced in malpractice cases of this kind.
ProtectingPatientsRights.com. Has Your OBGYN Committed Medical Malpractice? 2015. http://www.protectingpatientrights.com/blog/has-your-ob-gyn-committed-medical-malpractice-.cfm