Gynecology Medical Malpractice Lawyers - Obstetrics CompensationLEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
More than 10% of physicians are sued every year for compensation for clinical negligence and most of those cases are in regards to obstetrics and gynecology medical malpractice issues. The difficulties relating to the disciplines within this field are continuing to be a matter of great concern with malpractice insurance premiums increasing exponentially. The most common areas which give rise to cause for concern and are often the subject of negligence lawsuits by gynecology medical malpractice lawyers include :-
- Failure to interpret tests or to act appropriately or at all in cervical cancer or genital cancer cases
- Surgery including laparoscopy
- damage to the abdominal wall during laparoscopy
- defective or nonexistent consent to the medical procedures
- undetected internal hemorrhage
- injury to the bowel, bladder or ureters
- failure to remove swabs
- leaving surgical instruments in situ
- sterilization caused by infection
- unnecessary surgical operations
- thrombosis induced by the use of oral contraceptives following inadequate patient screening
- perforation of the wall of the uterus by intra-uterine contraceptive devices during installion
- failure to prevent pregnancy
- side effects of hormone contraceptive injections due to improper dosage or inadequate patient screening
- Complications of Abortion:
- wrongful birth
- loss of childbearing ability due to infection
- loss of childbearing ability because of the need for a hysterectomy
- incomplete procedures including abortion
- damage to the organs and surrounding structures
- Delay in diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy
- Delay in diagnosis of pregnancy resulting in wrongful birth
- Failure of sterilization resulting in abortion or wrongful birth
- Pregnancy Complications
- Having a fetus with chromosomal abnormalities incompatible with life
- Being a mom with an unhealthy lifestyle, including obesity, drug use and alcohol use
- Elevated maternal age
- Maternal trauma, such as in a car accident
- Untreated hypothyroidism
- Poorly controlled diabetes
- Maternal infections
- High blood pressure
- Protein in the urine
- Rapid weight gain secondary to severe fluid increase in the body
- Abdominal pain
- Change in reflexes
- A lack of urine output or reduced urine output
- Severe headaches
- Vomiting and nausea
- Ectopic Pregnancy
- Labor Complications
Gynecology medical malpractice lawyers often deal several types of complications that can result from an abortion. One complication is a punctured or perforated bladder. This condition is typically a side effect of another type of complication known as a perforated uterus, which can happen in as many as one in forty procedures or as few as one in four hundred procedures. Fistulas and pain can result, and surgery may be required to repair the bladder and stop urine leakage.
There is also a chance of bowel perforation. If this happens, serious life threatening infections can result from bacteria that leaks into the pelvic or abdominal area. A colostomy may be needed to repair this issue, as well as bowel resections.
Abortions can increase the risk for ectopic pregnancies, as well as impact future pregnancies by increasing the likelihood of bleeding in the first trimester, and decreasing the chance of a normal delivery. The placenta may also have to be manually removed, and the baby may be premature or have a low birth weight.
There is also a chance of infections developing following an abortion, which in some cases can be fatal. These infections occur when bacteria travels into the uterus from the instruments used for the procedure. As many as one in four to as few as one in fifty women can develop infections.
One in every twenty procedures also results in cervical lacerations. If this is not caught, future pregnancies can miscarry, and the ability of the woman to carry to full term decreases because of the weakened cervix.
It should also be noted that women who undergo an abortion also have a six to fifteen percent greater chance of developing placenta previa in pregnancies that are not terminated. This means that the placenta cover the cervix, which prevents a vaginal delivery from being an option. A caesarian section is required, leading to bed rest to prevent bleeding or other serious complications.
There is also a risk that some of the material from the pregnancy will be retained following the abortion. Fetal material or placenta pieces that are left behind may require another surgical procedure to manage infections or to control bleeding.
Rh negative women may also be at a higher risk for complications due to Rh incompatibility. A simple shot of Rhogam can be administered to prevent problems with any future pregnancies, however if this shot is not given, there can be serious complications for future pregnancies, including death of the fetus.
Lastly, a condition known as disseminated intravascular coagulation can happen following any pregnancy. This means that the blood does not clot properly, resulting in serious hemorrhaging. Roughly one out of five hundred abortions that take place in the second trimester develop this condition.
Abortion is a medical termination of pregnancy that typically is conducted within the first trimester of a pregnancy. Abortions can be performed using medication or by dilating the cervix and using a curette to scrape the uterus. Abortion medication is only effective within nine weeks of pregnancy; however the curette method can be used at any stage.
Gynecology medical malpractice lawyers deal with compensation claims resulting from the complications of abortion ehich may include :
Most pregnancies go well but a good doctor knows that complications can happen and can show up in any pregnancy. The doctor must look carefully at accredited data on every patient in order to know the proper treatment for pregnancy complications. Failure by a doctor can result in a gynecology medical malpractice lawyer taking legal action for compensation.
One pregnancy complication is a miscarriage, which by definition, usually occurs in the first trimester. A miscarriage is a pregnancy loss in the first or early second trimester. The causes of trimester are many and include:
A miscarriage begins with cramping and/or spotting associated with increased bleeding and pain. Eventually, the products of conception pass and the bleeding slows considerably and finally stops. If the products of conception fail to pass spontaneously, the individual needs to see a doctor and have a dilatation and curettage or D & C, which is a technique that opens the cervix if necessary and scrapes out the contents of the uterus, including blood clots and the products of conception.
An ectopic pregnancy is another complication of pregnancy that can be an emergency if the doctor doesn’t have the knowledge and skill to identify it in the earliest stages. An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs anywhere else but the uterus; usually, it is defined as occurring in the Fallopian tubes. An ectopic pregnancy is incompatible with life and is a medical emergency if it bursts out of the Fallopian tube and causes excessive bleeding and shock.
The greatest risk factor for an ectopic pregnancy is a prior history of an ectopic pregnancy. A disruption of the Fallopian tube is a risk factor for ectopic pregnancy. Pelvic inflammatory disease increases the risk of an ectopic pregnancy. Endometriosis, pelvic scar tissue or fibroid tumors can cause narrowing of the Fallopian tube and increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy. Having an IUD can increase the risk.
Signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy usually occur at 6-8 weeks gestation. There will be the normal symptoms of pregnancy and then the woman will develop weakness and dizziness; she will have low blood pressure from internal blood loss and then will faint if not treated with IV blood products and IV fluids. There will be pain on one side of the abdomen and vaginal bleeding, indicating that the pregnancy is not healthy. Surgery to remove the ectopic pregnancy is the ultimate treatment.
Diabetes of pregnancy or gestational diabetes is a disorder of later pregnancy, usually past 24 weeks gestation. The blood sugar is high in pregnancy and this results in fetal macrosomia and increased risk of hypoglycemia in the infant after birth. The woman is usually screened around 24 weeks gestation and if she has gestational diabetes, she has to monitor her blood sugars regularly and follow a strict diet. Medications are rarely used in gestational diabetes.
Preeclampsia is a disease that usually affects later pregnancy. It starts with high blood pressure readings and then there is protein in the urine. This is usually treated with bed rest although severe cases are treated with medications and hospitalization. It carries a risk of fetal harm due to diminished blood supply and seizures. Women with preeclampsia have a number of symptoms. These include:
The treatment of preeclampsia is to deliver the baby before anything untoward happens but when the baby is least premature.
As difficult as it may be, there is no way to save an ectopic pregnancy. The best treatment is to remove it quickly, so there is no permanent damage to the fallopian tube. If this is not done promptly, future pregnancies may be compromised, and the condition can even become fatal.
There are a variety of factors that can lead to the occurrence of an ectopic pregnancy. Whenever the fallopian tube is damaged, and is no longer smooth, eggs can get caught. This leads to the egg implanting and starting to grow in that location, rather than being able to proceed as intended. Smoking, and exposure to chemicals prior to the mother being born, can also increase the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy. Other factors such as previous surgeries, and pelvic inflammatory disease (a type of infection that is often linked to Chlamydia and gonorrhea) can also cause scarring. Furthermore, pelvic procedures such as fertility treatments and tubal ligation reversal can also increase the risk of ectopic pregnancies.
Early stages of ectopic pregnancies often resemble those of traditional pregnancies. Feelings of fatigue, nausea, and breast tenderness are all common. As the pregnancy advances, the woman may note pain in the pelvic region or abdomen that begins on one side and then spreads throughout a larger area. There can also be some vaginal bleeding reported as well.
Physicians can diagnose the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy by looking at an ultrasound and by conducting a urine test. Another common diagnosis technique is to verify hormone levels, especially the HCG hormone level. If the level has not doubled two days after the first test, there may be an issue with the pregnancy.
There are a couple of options to deal with an ectopic pregnancy. The first option is to administer medication, often methotrexate, to reduce the pregnancy in size until it passes through the tube on its own. This is often very effective in the earliest stages. A simple shot is given to the patient, and a follow up dose may be needed. If the medication does not work properly, or if the pregnancy has progressed too far, laparoscopic surgery on the fallopian tubes or the pelvic area may be needed. If there is no damage to the tube, it may be able to be saved and repaired. If it is ruptured or badly damaged, some of the tube may need to be completely removed.
In the ideal setting, the first stage of labour lasts 7-12 hours long, the second stage of labour (the pushing stage) lasts about 1-2 hours and the third stage of labour (when the placenta is expulsed) is about 5-15 minutes long. Unfortunately, there can be many complications of the above scenario.
The woman can have an arrest of labour so that the cervix doesn’t progress or the labour simply stops in the middle of labour. The best treatment is to use intravenous Pitocin to try and jumpstart the labour again. If this fails, many times the doctor goes straight to Cesarean section to deliver the baby. labours can be exceedingly long, in excess of 36-48 hours with little progression. In such cases, the mother will receive IV Pitocin but, in reality, she is exhausted and a Cesarean is the ultimate end to that scenario.
The uterus can rupture in the first stage of labour, especially if the woman has had a prior cesarean section. This is called a VBAC or vaginal birth after cesarean. If the uterus ruptures, this is an obstetric emergency and the patient must have an emergency cesarean section.
The second stage of labour is also fraught with the possibility of complications. There can be an arrest of labour in the second stage because there Is a mismatch between the size of the fetal head and the size of the maternal pelvic. The baby is literally stuck in the birth canal. Doctors can try risky procedures such as a vacuum extraction or a forceps delivery but many of these situations end up with a Cesarean section. Usually it depends on how long the woman has pushed. Usually 3-5 hours is considered too long for a second stage labour.
There can be tears in the vagina in the second stage and severe tears that extend into the rectum. Lacerations that extend into rectum are called 4th degree tears. They are difficult to repair and can lead to a fistula between the rectum and the vagina if not repaired properly.
If a forceps is used in the second stage of labour, there can be damage to the bladder. If the bladder ruptures, there is the possibility of bladder rupture and a bladder fistula. This can lead to further surgery or a prolonged recovery to repair the fistula. In such cases, urine leaks from the bladder to the vagina.
Perineal tears can be less severe than a 4th degree tear but can still be serious. Third degree tears do damage to the anal sphincter, which must be repaired before the rest of the perineum can be repaired. The rule of thumb is to turn a fourth degree tear into a third degree tear and then into a second degree tear followed by a first degree tear.
There can be problems with the baby in the second stage of labour. The fetal heart rate can drop precipitously and can require an emergency cesarean section or an accelerated vaginal delivery with the mother receiving 100 percent oxygen using a mask to give the fetus the most oxygen possible. Certain position changes can change the fetal heart rate for the better so that delivery can be accomplished by the best possible means.
The cord can accidentally pass through the birth canal before the fetal head. This can cause serious compromise of the fetal heart rate. The best treatment is to try and push the fetal cord back into the uterus and then consider an emergency cesarean section.
In the third stage of labour, the placenta or part of the placenta can become stuck inside the uterus, causing excessive bleeding. If the placenta fails to come out of the uterus or part of the placenta is left behind, the patient is taken to the operating room where the placenta is removed surgically.
Gynecology Medical Malpractice Lawyers
If you have been the victim of obstetric or gynecology medical malpractice we can help you to exercise your legal rights to obtain compensation. Our specialst lawyers will deal with your claim using a contingency fee arrangement which means if you don't succeed in receiving compensation then your gynecology medical malpractice lawyers won't get paid. You will receive a complete professional service from lawyers who specialise in claiming compensation for personal injury caused as a result of clinical negligence. For free advice without obligation just use the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices and a gynecology lawyer will telephone you immediately to discuss your potential compensation claim without further obligation.
Obstetrics & Gynecology - Overview
Many cases that affect women’s health are associated with conditions that affect the reproductive tract including issues like pregnancy, pregnancy prevention, problems with fertility, infections, and cancer. Most of these issues are dealt with on a regular basis by a general gynecologist, but there are times when a specialist (such as a fertility specialist or gynecological oncologist) may be needed.
Gynecologists are in charge of conducting basic health check-ups, breast examinations, and pap tests. A complete medical history should be compiled prior to any physical examination. A medical history should include information regarding the woman’s monthly cycle, any fertility problems, pain that may be present, vaginal discharge, previous health problems or surgeries, the number of children carried, and any illness or infection.
Gynecologists will also conduct examinations of the uterus and ovaries by means of an internal examination. This is done by using a speculum inserted into the vagina to view the cervix. A recto-vaginal examination may also be needed if there are concerns regarding the rear of the uterus or vagina.
Ultrasounds are another common test done by gynecologists. This test shows a clear view of the interior portion of the uterus, which can show any object inside the uterus, the post uterine area, the ovaries, and the fallopian tubes. Transvaginal ultrasounds can be used by being inserted directly into the vagina to provide a view of the cervix, uterus, and cervical length. Transvaginal ultrasounds are often ordered in early pregnancy to see the fetus in its earliest stages.
Female reproductive tract diseases are another area gynecologists assist with. Issues in this category include urinary incontinence problems, amenorrhea (also known as a lack of menstrual periods), and cancers that affect the cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, vulva, or vagina. These specialists can also help with dysmennorrhea (also known as pain that accompanies menstrual periods), infections, infertility, uterine prolapsed, and heavy menstrual bleeding.
Gynecologists are also skilled surgeons who can manage a variety of procedures that affect the reproductive health of women. Surgery is often needed for a number of reasons, of which some relate to reproductive purposes, while others do not. Typical surgeries that are performed by gynecologist include: hysterectomies, which may be needed for many reasons including cancer, uterine prolapsed, or heavy menstrual bleeding; tubal ligations for women who want to prevent future pregnancies; caesarean sections, which are done by making a low incision in the abdomen to remove a baby from the uterus; dilation and curettage, which is used for remedying heavy menstrual bleeding, to terminate a pregnancy, or to remove a miscarried fetus; laparoscopies, which are done to provide a more in depth view of the uterus and ovaries; and ovary removal, which may be needed to cure polycystic disease, endometriosis, or to treat cancer.
The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here