Gynecologists specialize in all medical aspects of the female reproductive system. This includes reproductive organ general health, pregnancy, and prenatal care. However, gynecology and the related field of obstetrics, which is the care of women and their children before, during, and after pregnancy, are affected disproportionately by medical malpractice.
The results of gynecological negligence or error can be traumatic and long-term. Possible gynecological negligence can include test results that are misread, contraception errors, undiagnosed conditions, and failure to prevent pregnancy. All of these instances can be devastating and some can even lead to death.
Types of Gynecological and Obstetrics Errors
Different gynecological errors or neglect leading to malpractice include:
- Errors occurring in dilation and curettage (D&C)
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose breast, cervical or uterine cancers
- Wrongful pregnancy or contraception failure
- Complications arising from hysterectomies
- Complications arising from abortions
- Failed tubal ligations
- Failure to diagnose the presence of ectopic pregnancies
- Adverse side effects or reactions to hormonal treatments or medications
- Misread diagnostic tests
- Failure to diagnose conditions which may result in low birth weights in infants
- Failure to diagnose or detect conditions which may affect pregnancies in an adverse manner-pre-eclampsia
- Infection, injury, hemorrhage or sterilization as a result of an OB/GYN surgical procedure
Results of Gynecological Malpractice
Any of the situations listed above can result in traumatic and long-term problems. Misdiagnosed or undiagnosed cancers can prevent the use of lifesaving treatments, while poorly handled procedures can have severe consequences. Whenever a physician fails to prescribe the proper medications or fails to properly determine possible adverse reactions or side effects to medications, the initial condition can also be greatly exacerbated. Finally, the effects of an unwanted pregnancy resulting from failed contraception can be devastating to both the patient as well as her family.
November, Martin, Lucy Chie, and Saul N. Weingart. “Physician-Reported Adverse Events and Medical Errors in Obstetrics and Gynecology.” Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, n.d. Web. 29 May 2012.
“Women’s Health Highlights: Recent Findings.” Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, n.d. Web. 29 May 2012.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions
- Is Improper Treatment a Form of Medical Malpractice?
- What Is Medical Malpractice?
- What Types Of Damages Are Usually Awarded In A Medical Malpractice Case?
- How Can I Determine If a Doctor, Hospital, or Other Health Care Provider Has Committed Medical Malpractice?
- How Can I Afford to Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney to Represent Me?