Obstetric care is characterized as being especially involved and complex, as multiple factors can play a role in the health of a mother and child. The various stages of pregnancy and fetal development can be impacted by a huge number of environmental and biological conditions, and it is up to OB/GYN physicians and medical professionals to accurately identify changes as they occur. Unfortunately, there is evidence to suggest that a fear of medical malpractice claims and litigation is causing some OB/GYN doctors to alter the way they practice medicine, which in turn may be having an impact on incidents of OB/GYN negligence.
According to the Huffington Post, one study found that approximately 10 percent of OB doctors outright lied to their patients about medical mistakes that they made, and around 20 percent failed to disclose any information about their serious medical errors. Physicians’ reluctance to discuss their mistakes is attributed to the fact that obstetricians are subject to the most lawsuits of any medical specialty. OB/GYN-related medical malpractice lawsuit settlements are also notably higher than others, contributing to unfavorable conditions for physician transparency and proactive care.
Issues relating to physicians’ failure to recognize medical mistakes may be contributing to conditions within the OB/GYN specialty that are leading to malpractice incidents. OBG Management explains that the vast majority of obstetric malpractice cases included in one study revolves around errors in clinical judgment. The study findings suggest that malpractice incidents were the result of multiple mistakes and poor decisions on the part of medical teams, not the consequences of one single doctor error. Miscommunication was cited as the leading cause of malpractice, along with poor documentation and ineffective supervision. The top allegations made in malpractice claims included improper pregnancy management and delays in treating fetal distress.