Obstetricians are doctors that focus on pregnancy, childbirth, and women’s reproductive systems. Obstetricians take care of women throughout their pregnancies and provide follow-up care for PAP tests and other routine issues. After medical school, those who wish to become obstetricians complete a four-year residency in obstetrics. When they are board-certified, they’ve also passed challenging oral and written exams. In spite of all this training, obstetricians sometimes make mistakes. These mistakes can have serious consequences for mothers and babies. If you suspect you were the victim of obstetric malpractice, the Dean Law Firm’s knowledgeable Ocala medical malpractice attorneys may be able to help.Obstetric Malpractice
During a pregnancy, an obstetrician monitors the health of mothers and babies. They do routine ultrasounds, determine whether any health conditions could affect the baby (or the pregnant mother), counsel you on medications and exercise, and provide methods to deal with pregnancy problems such as morning sickness and heartburn. Obstetricians are supposed to look for problems. Sometimes they fail to diagnose a medical condition that could affect the mother and baby, such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes.
Or they may misdiagnose the mother or baby, and for that reason the wrong course of care may be chosen. For example, they may mishandle an ectopic pregnancy, which is a pregnancy in which the fetus implants outside the uterus. A misdiagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy can create complications. Or an obstetrician might not notify a parent of a genetic marker that indicates conditions like Down’s Syndrome. Sometimes parents decide not to test, but if the tests are declined or there is a high-risk pregnancy, the failure to identify a genetic defect could constitute malpractice.
Obstetricians are sometimes the first doctors who have an opportunity to detect uterine or ovarian cancer. If cancer should have been found through the routine testing conducted by obstetricians, the obstetrician may be held accountable for a failure to diagnose cancer.Medical Malpractice
In order to prove medical malpractice by an obstetrician, you’ll need to show: (1) the defendant owed a professional duty of care, (2) breach of professional duty of care, (3) causation and (4) damages. The breach of the professional duty of care can occur in numerous ways, and a seasoned medical malpractice lawyer can help you identify whether this may have occurred in your case. These include errors while performing surgical procedures or delivering a child. For example, an error made during a C-section in which a baby is lost might be a breach of the professional duty of care. For another example, if the obstetrician makes a mistake that results in the mother experiencing infertility, there may have been medical malpractice.
During delivery, obstetricians should be monitoring both the mother and child. Where an obstetrician or her staff fails to properly handle and respond to changes in a baby’s oxygen levels and heart rate, the result may be death or significant brain damage to the baby.Damages
Damages in an obstetric malpractice lawsuit may be both economic and noneconomic. They may cover losses suffered by both the mother and the baby. Economic losses suffered by the mother may include medical bills, out-of-pocket costs, and replacement services. Noneconomic losses for maternal injuries may include mental anguish, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment and loss of consortium. If the baby suffers serious birth injuries such as brain damage from loss of oxygen during labor and delivery, these may require long-term care, therapy, and rehabilitation. Additionally, it may be possible to recover medical expenses, pain and suffering, wages lost as a result of providing care for a disabled child, and loss of companionship and enjoyment.Consult a Skillful Obstetric Malpractice Attorney in Ocala
Obstetric malpractice can result in serious injuries and harm to a mother and a newborn. At the Dean Law Firm, our experienced trial lawyers understand how difficult it can be for those injured by obstetric malpractice, and work with experienced experts to determine whether it’s possible for you to recover damages, and what the long-term economic effects are likely to be. If you or your baby were injured by an obstetrician in Ocala, you should consult us. We represent patients and their families throughout Florida, including in The Villages and Crystal River, as well as Sumter, Citrus, Lake, Marion, Sumter, and Levy Counties. Call us at 352-387-8700 or contact us through our online form.