Bringing a child into the world is supposed to be a joyous time for parents. Unfortunately, joy can quickly be replaced by anxiety and uncertainty if the mother or baby is a victim of obstetrician-gynecologist (OBGYN) malpractice.
The Savannah OBGYN malpractice attorneys at our firm understand what parents go through when this type of negligence occurs. That is why we are firmly committed to aggressively pursuing compensation for the damages that have occurred. We are well-versed in the many aspects of these cases and what it takes to build a successful lawsuit.
Schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation right now so we can determine if you have a case. If you do, and you decide to proceed, we will not charge legal fees unless your case is successful and you are awarded compensation.
Types of OBGYN Malpractice Cases
An obstetrician-gynecologist is a medical doctor who provides women's health care for a variety of situations, including:
- Postpartum period after childbirth
Our Savannah medical malpractice lawyers are prepared to handle cases involving many types of OBGYN negligence, including:
OBGYN's prescribe and administer medication to treat a variety of medical conditions, including:
- Hormonal disorders
- Abnormal bleeding
- Pelvic pain
- Urinary incontinence
- Vaginal and urinary tract infections
- Pain during pregnancy
- High blood pressure, including during pregnancy
- Cervical cancer
Unfortunately, OBGYNs can make mistakes when prescribing or administering medication that cause injury to the mother or her baby. Some common types of medication errors include:
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Prescribing the wrong dosage
- Administering a medication that causes an allergic reaction
- Failing to discontinue a medication past a certain point in the pregnancy
- Administering medications that have harmful reactions with other medicines the patient is taking
- Prescribing a medication that harms the baby before birth
- Administering the wrong medication
Failure to Notice or Properly Handle Fetal Distress
One of the most important things for OBGYN's to watch for during a pregnancy is any signs of fetal distress, or a lower oxygen supply than normal.
If doctors do not notice fetal distress quickly enough or provide appropriate treatment, the baby could be born with cerebral palsy or a variety of other lifetime illnesses. There are also cases where the distress leads to the baby's death.
OBGYN's must take steps to carefully monitor the mother and fetus for any signs of distress. Some of these steps could include:
- Monitoring the baby's heart rate, which can be done with an ultrasound device
- Doing an ultrasound to measure the amniotic fluid index (AFI) – low AFI can cause oxygen deprivation
- Conducting a contraction stress test to see how the fetus will respond to labor, as a fetus in distress may suffer a dangerous loss of oxygen during labor
- Conducting a non-stress test on a fetus with abnormal movement to see if it has a low heart rate
- Monitoring the mother's blood pressure, as high blood pressure can cause problems for the baby
When an obstetrician-gynecologist notices signs of fetal distress, he or she must respond appropriately to prevent harm to the mother or her baby. For example, the doctor may need to perform a cesarean section to get the baby out so it does not suffer permanent damage. If the mother has high blood pressure, the doctor could prescribe medication to get it under control and prevent harm to the baby. Doctors may need to give the mother fluids intravenously or provide oxygen to correct abnormalities in the fetal heart rate.
Failing to Perform a C-Section
This includes not only failing to perform a C-section, but also cases where the procedure was done but long after doctors should have performed it to prevent harm to the fetus. Doctors need to have a complete medical history of the mother to determine if labor is likely to be difficult and cause injury to the fetus. This allows them to make the right decision about inducing labor or performing a C-section to deliver the baby.
Improper Use of Tools to Aid in the Delivery
Sometimes doctors need to use tools like forceps or vacuums to aid in the delivery because they are having trouble getting the baby out of the birth canal.
However, doctors need to be cautious when using these tools because one wrong move could cause severe injury to the baby. If doctors pull too hard they could damage the neck or the arm or put intense pressure on the head, possibly leading to brain damage.
Failure to Diagnose
This includes misdiagnosis, failing to diagnose a medical condition in the mother or fetus, or a delayed diagnosis, which occurs when the doctor discovers the correct diagnosis long after he or she was reasonably expected to do so.
OBGYN's can fail to diagnose a variety of conditions, including:
- Gestational hypertension – This is high blood pressure that develops after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Chronic hypertension – This is hypertension that was present before the pregnancy began.
- Preeclampsia – This is another name for high blood pressure after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy that can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, blood or brain. Preeclampsia could cause seizures in the mother or baby.
- Permanent disorders or disabilities in the child – Some OBGYN malpractice cases are based on the failure of the doctor to diagnose problems with the baby, even though the doctor did not cause the injury. For example, some parents file OBGYN lawsuits because the doctor did not tell them about mental retardation, cerebral palsy, shoulder dystocia, protrusion of the intestines outside the body, congenital heart defects or a brachial plexus injury.
- Cervical cancer – A delay in the diagnosis of cancer could be fatal or put you in a situation where you need to undergo aggressive treatment that could cause harmful side effects.
If you or your baby was a victim of OBGYN negligence, contact a Savannah OBGYN malpractice attorney today to discuss your potential legal options. We know how devastating a birth injury can be and are prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today.
Injuries Caused by OBGYN Malpractice
The Savannah OBGYN malpractice lawyers at our firm know that an obstetrician-gynecologist's actions or failure to act can have disastrous consequences for the mother or her baby. Some of the injuries or medical conditions that could result from OBGYN negligence or malpractice include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Paralysis of the face
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Bladder pain
- Group B streptococcal infection
- Cancers in reproductive organs, including the cervix, ovaries, vulva and uterus
- Pelvic organ prolapse, which occurs when a pelvic organ drops from its normal position
- Shoulder dystocia
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Internal bleeding
- Bowel perforation
- Decreased growth of the baby
- Cardiovascular disease
- Developmental delays in the baby
Our Savannah OBGYN malpractice attorneys know that injuries like these can create huge medical expenses over the course of the life of the mother or her baby.
For example, cerebral palsy creates a variety of physical and cognitive problems that require continuous care. Children may need a variety of forms of therapy to manage these issues, along with medications to manage seizures and other issues. While the medical bills are considerable, the emotional pain and suffering experienced by the family can be just as bad, if not worse.
If your child was injured because of OBGYN malpractice during pregnancy or delivery, contact us for a free legal consultation to discuss potential legal options.
Call a Savannah OBGYN malpractice attorney right now at 1-844-RESULTS.
Proving Negligence in an OBGYN Malpractice Case
You will not be able to recover compensation in your case unless our attorneys can show the doctor breached his or her duty of care, which led to an injury.
A duty of care is a legal requirement to provide care that meets the medical community's accepted standards given the situation and the training the medical professional has received. Another way of saying this is that doctors are expected to provide care that is similar to what would be provided by a similarly-trained medical professional in a similar situation in the same geographic region.
For example, the OBGYN who treated you may have needed to perform a C-section because the baby was in distress, but failed to do so despite the clear signs of distress. We will need to show that it was a violation of medical standards that the operation was not done.
There also needs to be a link between the breach and your injuries. In other words, our OBGYN malpractice attorneys in Savannah need to prove the injury would not have occurred unless the doctor was negligent.
Building a case will require an extensive investigation of the actions of medical professionals during the pregnancy and delivery of the child. We will need to examine medical records to determine the condition of the mother and fetus and what problems were present. This includes results of tests performed to determine the condition of the mother and fetus.
We will also need to consult medical experts to determine what the doctor should have done differently to help prevent injury to the mother or baby. For example, maybe a test should have been done or the doctor should have given the mother medication to help reduce high blood pressure.
One of the advantages of working with our qualified Savannah OBGYN malpractice lawyers is that we have the resources to conduct the thorough investigation your case requires. We are prepared to conduct numerous interviews, collect medical records and discuss your situation with experts.
Contact Roden Law today to determine your legal options.
Statute of Limitations for OBGYN Malpractice Claims
Like other medical malpractice claims, the statute of limitations for OBGYN claims is also two years from the date of injury or death that resulted from malpractice. The statute of limitations is a deadline for filing your lawsuit. Once the deadline passes, you will lose the right to file anything, which means our Savannah OBGYN malpractice lawyers will not be able to help you.
One of the exceptions to the statute of limitations is the statute of repose. This statute applies to situations when the victim is not immediately aware he or she suffered an injury caused by malpractice. This happens in many OBGYN malpractice cases because some of the injuries caused by this form of negligence are not immediately apparent.
The statute of repose says the statute of limitations for your case will not begin until the date you discover or were reasonably expected to discover you had grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
However, you are prohibited from filing a lawsuit more than five years after the malpractice occurred. This applies regardless of when you discovered malpractice.
Fortunately, our OBGYN malpractice lawyers in Savannah have detailed knowledge of the statute of limitations and can determine when it began and ended for your case.
Schedule a free legal consultation right now by completing a Free Case Evaluation form.
Contact a Savannah OBGYN Malpractice Lawyer
Our attorneys understand the confusion and sadness that follow when a child is the victim of OBGYN negligence. We want the negligent medical professionals who caused this to be held responsible and to recover fair compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Schedule a free legal consultation with a OBGYN malpractice attorney in Savannah today so we can discuss what happened and determine if you have a case. If you do, and you decide to move forward, we will not charge for representing you unless you receive compensation.
We are prepared to manage every aspect of your case as we fight for the compensation you deserve. We will launch a comprehensive investigation to collect evidence and attempt to establish you were the victim of malpractice.