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