Can I Sue For OBGYN Negligence In Illinois?
March 15, 2020 Published in Medical Malpractice
Anytime we see a medical professional for assistance, we expect to be treated with a high level of care. While there can always be unforeseen complications with any medical procedure, it is often the case that a healthcare professional’s negligence contributes to a patient’s injury. Obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) can also make mistakes, and they regularly face medical malpractice lawsuits in Illinois. It is important to understand what OBGYN malpractice looks like and what you can do if you or a loved one are harmed due to the actions of an OBGYN.
OBGYN negligence explained
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins, preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the country. In general, medical mistakes occur in a variety of ways, including:
- Misreading results
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Surgical mistakes
- Unnecessary surgeries or procedures
- Medications errors
- Improper follow-up
- Healthcare-acquired infections
It is important to understand what constitutes obstetric negligence because OBGYNs are unique in that they can be responsible for the care of two patients at once. An OBGYN should ensure that a mother and baby are both doing well and follow up on anything that poses a risk to their health. OBGYN malpractice can result in the death or injury to a mother, the child, or both.
While the success rate of pregnancy and birth has improved dramatically over the last hundred years, the United States still has a higher infant mortality rate than other developed countries and lags behind other countries when it comes to maternal health. Issues specific to OBGYN malpractice include the following:
- Failure to diagnose a health condition
- Failure to identify a physical or genetic defect present in the child
- An unsuccessful cesarean section operation
- Failure to recognize an ectopic pregnancy
- Poor use of forceps
- Brain or organ damage due to a deprivation of oxygen (asphyxiation)
- Failure to identify complications with the umbilical cord before or during delivery
Non-pregnancy related OBGYN mistakes
Of course, women often regularly see their OBGYN for preventative care, just like visiting a primary care physician. The gynecological side of OBGYN handles the health of a woman and her reproductive organs. Women are susceptible to reproductive cancers or other health issues concerning the reproductive organs. If these illnesses go undiagnosed or untreated, various complications can arise. Undiagnosed health issues can lead to infertility or complications if a woman does get pregnant. Undiagnosed or untreated health issues could even lead to a woman’s death.
How often does this occur?
According to a study by the American Medical Association (AMA), general surgeons and OBGYNs are at greatest risk of facing medical malpractice lawsuits. The study shows that surgeons and OBGYNs “are three-and-a-half to four times likelier to be sued then pediatricians and psychiatrists, who are at lowest risk of being hit with a suit.” Approximately 63% of OBGYNs and general surgeons have ever been sued.
What you can do if a mistake caused you or your child harm
If you or your child has been the victim of medical malpractice by an obstetrician/gynecologist (OBGYN), seek legal assistance as soon as possible. You may be entitled to significant compensation, including the following:
- Coverage of all medical expenses related to the error(s)
- The cost of future care of an injured child
- Coverage of lost income and benefits if you cannot work
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Pain and suffering damages
- Punitive damages against the healthcare provider or agency responsible
Having a Illinois medical malpractice attorney by your side increases the chance of securing maximum compensation for what happened.