Photo of a pregnant woman in a hospital gown holding her belly.

Pregnancy and childbirth should be a wondrous and life-changing experience. However, it can also be a period filled with uncertainty and risk. Unfortunately, medical malpractice can occur during this time, and it's crucial to know how to respond if it affects you.

Obstetrics (OB)-Related Medical Malpractice refers to cases where healthcare professionals, such as obstetricians or nurses, fail to provide the necessary standard of care during pregnancy, delivery, or postpartum. This negligence can lead to injuries or even death for the mother or baby.

Key Statistics on OB-Related Medical Malpractice

We've compiled some essential statistics from Coverys, a medical professional liability insurance provider, to give you a better understanding of OB-related medical malpractice:

  • OB-related medical malpractice ranks as the 5th most common type of medical malpractice claim.
  • A significant 80% of OB claims are high-severity, with 24% resulting in the death of the baby, mother, or both.
  • The most common injury for mothers in these cases is infertility, while the most frequent fetal injury is neurological or brain damage.

A Closer Look

Top 10 most common maternal Injuries:

  1. Infertility - 29%
  2. Preeclampsia - 23%
  3. Death - 14%
  4. Bladder/Bowel Injury - 14%
  5. Postpartum Hemorrhage - 14%
  6. Perineal Injury - 12%
  7. Abscess - 11%
  8. Hydrosalpinx - 11%
  9. Neurological/Brain Damage - 9%
  10. Liver/Renal Failure - 7%

Top 6 most common fetal Injuries:

  1. Neurological/Brain Injury - 41%
  2. Shoulder Dystocia/Brachial Plexus Injury - 37%
  3. Fetal Demise (Including Stillbirth) - 34%
  4. Congenital/Genetic - 3%
  5. Chorioamnionitis - 2%
  6. Fracture/Contusion/Laceration - 2%

Top 10 most common patient risk factors:

Risk factors are characteristics that increase the likelihood of a negative outcome. In OB-related care, patient risk factors are any patient characteristics that may result in complications during pregnancy, delivery, or postpartum. The ten most common patient risk factors are as follows:

  1. Diabetes - 11%
  2. Obesity - 11%
  3. Hypertension - 8%
  4. Post 40-week Gestation - 7%
  5. Macrosomia - 7%
  6. Gestational Diabetes - 7%
  7. Preeclampsia - 6%
  8. Smoking - 6%
  9. Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM) - 6%
  10. Advanced Maternal Age - 3%

How does OB-Related Medical Malpractice Occur?

In 53% of OB-related claims, erroneous or negligent clinical judgment was cited as the cause of injury or death of the mother and/or child. The most common clinical judgment issues include:

  1. Inappropriate management of labor and delivery
  2. Inappropriate management of pregnancy
  3. Negligent patient monitoring
  4. Delay in performing a cesarean section

By understanding the common injuries, risk factors, and causes of OB-related medical malpractice, patients can better advocate for their own care and safety during pregnancy and childbirth.

Nationwide Medical Malpractice Attorneys

OB-related cases are often complex and require proof that a healthcare provider failed to meet standards of care, resulting in the mother or child(ren)’s injury. Healthcare providers and institutions take these cases very seriously and will put in a lot of effort to protect themselves.

Our team of medical malpractice lawyers has extensive trial experience and the resources needed to conduct a thorough investigation. We evaluate every piece of evidence to determine who is at fault so you can get the compensation you deserve.

You pay no fees unless we win, so request a free case evaluation by calling contacting us online today. Se habla español.

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