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New Study Determines Top Three Reasons for OB/GYN Liability Cases

A new study just published on medical liability cases concerning obstetrics and birth injuries named the top three reasons cited for liability cases against obstetricians. They are:

  • Errors in clinical judgment
  • Miscommunication between doctors
  • Technical mistakes

Poor judgment to blame for medical malpractice cases

CRICO Strategies released a study that analyzed more than 800 birth injury / medical liability cases between 2005 and 2009. The results showed that in 77% of the cases, doctors showed a clinical judgment error; in 36% of cases birth injuries occurred because of miscommunication; in 26% of cases it was a technical error that was the downfall. Other reasons medical liability claims were brought included inadequate documentation, administrative failures and ineffective supervision.

Birth injury cases

Of the top allegations from lawsuits, the three most common were comprised of: delayed treatment of fetal distress, improper execution of vaginal delivery, and improper management of pregnancy.

Dr. Albert Strunk, MD, deputy executive vice president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said of the findings, “There is a substantial body of data that confirms the [results] of this report. The big factors in success are team training and improved communication.”

Dr. Strunk made the point that pregnancy and birth is still much safer than it was 50 years ago, with birth injury lawsuits comprising less than one case per 1,000 births.

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