Obstetricians and gynecologists, often shortened to OB-GYNs, are medical practitioners who provide care related to the female reproductive system, pregnancy, labor and child delivery. If you or your child have suffered an injury that you believe may be the result of obstetric and gynecology malpractice, you should hire a lawyer to investigate whether you have grounds to file a Philadelphia medical malpractice claim against your doctor.
Malpractice = Deviation From the Standard of Care
The definition of medical malpractice is an act or omission committed by a health care professional that deviates from the accepted standard of care or norm of practice. The medical industry has high standards for what constitutes acceptable patient care by a health practitioner. If a doctor deviates or fails to meet the standard of care and this causes harm to a patient, it is known as medical malpractice.
A medical malpractice claim has four key elements:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed.
- The doctor violated the standard of care while treating the patient.
- The doctor’s negligence caused the patient’s injury.
- The patient suffered real, specific damages as a result.
Identifying medical malpractice often requires asking what a reasonable and prudent medical professional would have done in the same or similar circumstances. If the accused party (defendant) did not do what was reasonable for a licensed health care provider in his or her situation, the defendant may be guilty of malpractice.
Common Examples of OB-GYN Malpractice
Medical malpractice or negligence in obstetrics and gynecology can take many forms. Any careless act or breach of the standard of medical care when taking care of a patient could lead to a medical malpractice claim.
Common examples of malpractice in obstetrics and gynecology include:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Failure to diagnose cervical or uterine cancer
- Misinterpretations of mammograms or sonograms
- Failure to detect an abnormality during pregnancy
- Failure to treat
- Administration of incorrect medications during pregnancy
- Failure to recognize fetal distress
- Gynecology surgery error
- Anesthesia error
- Failure to perform a necessary C-section (or perform it quickly enough)
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum
- Failure to properly sterilize equipment, causing infection or sepsis
These dangerous mistakes can result in serious injuries to both mother and child. Medical malpractice by an OB-GYN could potentially cause a birth injury, for example, such as infant brain damage and cerebral palsy. A Philadelphia birth injury attorney can explain your legal options in detail following such an incident.
What to Do if You Were Injured by Obstetric or Gynecology Malpractice
If you or your child suffered an injury that you believe is connected to medical malpractice committed by an obstetrician or gynecologist, you may be eligible for financial compensation. The negligent health care professional or facility may be responsible for paying the damages caused by your or your child’s injury, including medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses connected to the act of wrongdoing.
Take the following steps to help your lawyer prove an OB-GYN malpractice claim:
- Write down a detailed timeline or description of events.
- Get the names of every medical provider and witness involved.
- Consider reporting the malpractice to the Department of State to investigate possible disciplinary action against the doctor.
- Request copies of your medical records and test results.
- Follow your new doctor’s treatment plan and instructions exactly.
- Contact a gynecology malpractice attorney in Philadelphia for assistance.
Do not try to pursue a medical malpractice claim for obstetric or gynecology malpractice without hiring a lawyer. If you do, the hospital or its insurance company may try to take advantage of you. The best way to protect your family’s rights is by contacting a gynecology malpractice attorney in Philadelphia as soon as possible. The team at Youman & Caputo has nearly 50 years of combined legal experience. Contact us today at (215) 274-0642 to begin with a free case consultation.