Obstetrics is a branch of medical science dealing primarily with pregnancy and childbirth. Unlike regular gynecology, which focuses on women’s health in general, obstetrics examines the individual’s health during all phases of pregnancy and determines if there are any expected complications when the fetus is ready to be delivered. Often during pregnancy a woman will experience drastic changes in her immune system, hormonal output and nutrition requirements. This is normal as the expectant mother is in a sense looking after two people already. However in the second and third trimesters as well as during delivery, certain condition can arise that, if not properly identified, could lead to ongoing health problems for both the mother and newborn.
Failure To Diagnose Pregnancy Complications
Compensation For Birth Injuries
The loss of a child through a misdiagnosed miscarriage can bring a great deal of pain and anguish to a mother, not to mention the physical risks as well. It’s difficult to adequately compensate grieving parents for the loss of a child. However, from a legal standpoint, a mother that has suffered due to a misdiagnosed miscarriage may have retribution by holding the parties accountable for their loss.
Liable Parties in Misdiagnosed Miscarriage Claims
Throughout her pregnancy, an expectant mother will usually depend on the medical recommendations and treatment of an OB/GYN physician. In a claim that pertains to a misdiagnosed miscarriage, a patient may be able to hold their OB/GYN responsible for any damages or losses that were incurred, if they can establish that the misdiagnosis was due to negligence.
Through legal guidelines, a patient must show that the OB/GYN supervising their pregnancy was unsuccessful at recognizing an impending miscarriage in a way that showed the level of care was below standards. If the level of care was breached, this would constitute negligence and make the responsible parties held accountable for damages. The question that arises however, is what type of damages exist to a patient if an OB/GYN practitioner is found negligent in his practices?
Tubal Pregnancy Malpractice
A tubal pregnancy, also known as an ectopic pregnancy, is a result of the fertilization of an egg that is not inside the uterus. In these cases, implantation typically occurs inside the fallopian tubes. Ectopic pregnancy is the most common reason for miscarriage in the first trimester of pregnancy. When an ectopic pregnancy occurs, a doctor must perform an ectopic surgery to remove the fertilized egg.
The major step in the laparoscopic surgery is to make an incision to remove the egg. It is not typically a difficult surgery and the patient is not required to recuperate long in the hospital. It does not take much time to heal either. If the fallopian tubes have ruptured as a result of the pregnancy, however, there is an increased risk of excessive bleeding, which can be extremely dangerous. The abdomen is opened and the fallopian tubes may be removed. Even with the best doctors, the procedure has its risks. Risks associated with this procedure include infection, hemorrhaging, injury to internal body parts, and a bad reaction to anesthesia.
While doctors are highly skilled professionals, they may make mistakes. Doctors may become negligent or careless with their work, though it is not common. Some doctors may not diagnose a tubal pregnancy correctly, causing the patient to hemorrhage. This can lead to death. During the surgery, negligence occurs if the doctor does not remove the egg correctly. It may continue to develop or cause future tubal pregnancies. Some women are not able to maintain pregnancies after surgery at all. A woman who gets an infection as a result of the surgery may have to have all her reproductive organs removed.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions
- Are There Limits on Damage Awards for Medical Malpractice?
- If Prescribed Too Much Medication and I Get Addicted Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
- What Is Medical Malpractice?
- Do I Have a Case Because My Condition Got Worse Due to My Doctor Failing to Refer Me to a Specialist?
- What Do I Need to Do Before I Call a Medical Malpractice Lawyer and Open a Claim?