Many OB/GYNs named in pregnancy-related malpractice suits

At the top of most Texas doctors' priorities is keeping their patients safe, healthy and well. The thought of a doctor causing more harm than good is unbelievable to many people, especially pregnant women who must develop a particularly intimate trust with their physicians. Still, according to a 2012 survey by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, over 75 percent of the OB/GYNs in the survey had been named in a malpractice lawsuit related to pregnancy or birth injury.

Even more surprising is the amount of claims per survey respondent, over 2.5. The pregnancy-related injuries that can stem from a doctor's negligence are varied, and many can harm the mother, the infant or both. As a result, OB/GYNs can be seen as having double the responsibility of other doctors. Nevertheless, despite their dual duties, as physicians they must follow the standard of care set forth for their field.

There are patterns of physician behavior that increase the chance of negligence occurring. One is trying to be in two places at once. Of course, medical staff are used to multitasking and dealing with huge workloads. Nevertheless, trying to cut corners can result in OB/GYN negligence.

Another thing OB/GYNs should always do is thoroughly supervise doctors who are still completing a residency. In the delivery room, pregnancy complications can develop rapidly and things can quickly spiral out of control if a supervising physician is not immediately available.

Another thing physicians can do to be proactive regarding negligence prevention is thoroughly training staff in these types of sudden emergencies. No doctor wants to be accused of having a negligent staff, and no patient wants to experience a chaotic, hesitant response to complications. If an expecting mother does have such an experience, a malpractice attorney can help bridge the information gap regarding what happened to her and why.

Source: Contemporary OB/GYN, "4 ways to lower your risk of an obstetric malpractice suit," Robert J. Stiller, April 1, 2014