When it comes to healthcare, there is nothing more important than receiving excellent medical attention from qualified and reliable professionals. Unfortunately, not all healthcare providers deliver the highest quality of care, which can lead to devastating consequences for their patients. If you or a loved one believes they may have been victims of OB/GYN malpractice, it’s essential that you are aware of your legal rights to ensure your interests are protected. The Mabrey Firm offers experienced legal representation and guidance regarding OB/GYN malpractice claims so that victims can seek justice—here’s what you should know about this difficult situation.
OB/GYN Malpractice Trends
OB/GYN stands for obstetrics and gynecology, two distinct fields in medicine:
- Obstetrics (OB) is a medicine branch that deals with conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care.
- Gynecology (GYN) is a branch of medicine that deals with all aspects of women’s health.
While OB/GYN medical professionals deal with various aspects of women’s health, the top OB/GYN medical malpractice issues are consistently OB-related. Utilizing data from two medical professional liability insurers, CRICO and Coverys, we compiled the following highlights you should know:
The numbers you should know:
- OB/GYN physicians are the most common type of physician to be named in a medical malpractice case across the nation.
- Over 50% of OB claims include serious injury or death of the mother and/or infant.
- The majority of OB claims involve errors during the delivery process.
Allegations by Branch
The top allegations against OB/GYNS by branch are:
- Maternal and/or fetal injuries.
- Maternal and/or fetal deaths.
- Punctures or perforations.
- Organ damage.
- Surgical errors.
- Punctures or perforations.
- Missed cancer diagnoses.
Allegations by Type
The most common allegations against OB/GYNs fall into one of three categories:
Accounts for 52% of OB/GYN allegations.
Including: Missing or mismanaging potential complications or risks to the mother and/or fetus/infant during pregnancy, childbirth, or postpartum.
Accounts for 40% of OB/GYN allegations.
Including: Improper technique, poor communication amongst the surgical team, improper follow-up post-op, and improperly gaining consent.
Accounts for 13% of OB/GYN allegations.
Including: Missed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, improper follow-up on lab results, and lack of communication with cross-providers.
Which Patients Are Most At-Risk?
Patients in 58% of OB claims had at least one comorbidity. The top ten comorbidities are as follows:
- Post 40-Week Gestation
- Gestational Diabetes
- Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM)
- Advanced Maternal Age
What Causes OB/GYN Malpractice?
The top causes for OB/GYN malpractice claims were as follows:
- Clinical Judgment - 53%
- Communication - 13%
- Documentation - 8%
- Technical Skill - 7%
- Human Factors - 6%
- Clinical Systems - 5%
- Administrative - 5%
- Behavior-Related - 3%
The most common clinical judgment issues cited were inappropriate labor and delivery management, inappropriate pregnancy management, negligent patient monitoring, and delay in performing a cesarean section.
Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Atlanta
Understanding the basics of OB/GYN malpractice is important in ensuring you have a successful case. If you or someone you know has been injured during childbirth, contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. The faster you reach out for help, the better your chances for success.