Pregnancy Problems: What Do I Do if My OBGYN Makes a Mistake?
According to Medscape, doctors who specialize in obstetrics and gynecology are sued for malpractice more than any other specialty in the profession. The most common complaints lodged involve abnormal injury, failure to diagnose, or failure to treat. If you believe your OBGYN has made a mistake with your treatment, there are steps you need to take to protect yourself and your baby.
Get a Second Opinion
If you suspect your OBGYN has made an error in your care, one of the first steps you need to take is to seek a second opinion from someone you can trust. Ask friends and loved ones for recommendations. Of course, you will want to see someone who is not in the same practice or hospital system as your original OBGYN, to avoid conflicting interests.
You can ask your original OBGYN’s office to transfer a copy of all your records to you, without disclosing you are seeking a second opinion. It is perfectly natural to keep copies of your records for yourself anyway, so feel free to deflect any questions about why you need your files.
Seek out a Specialist, if Necessary
If you or your child has been harmed by the mistake or the issue is ongoing, do not hesitate to see a specialist. Some OBGYNs specialize in high-risk pregnancies, and some pediatricians specialize in birth-injured children. Early treatment and intervention can make all the difference in giving you and your child every chance to recover and enjoy good health.
File for Financial Compensation
You should not hesitate to file for financial compensation if the mistake has cost you. Don’t forget to count lost time from work, copays for appointments and medications, any therapies you or the infant has needed and the costs of any special equipment you have needed to rent or purchase. If your OBGYN admits the mistake, you may be offered a settlement instead of a court appearance. Seek legal counsel if you are offered a settlement, to ensure the offer is fair and balanced.
Get Specialized Assistance Post-Birth
If your child was injured by birth or born with issues due to the mistake, seek specialized help as soon as possible. Children who receive therapies tailored to their needs are more likely to recover or at least reach the height of their potential than children who are not treated for their needs. For example, if your child suffered vision loss due to a birth injury, sight therapy can help him or her to use what vision they do have to the full.
If your OBGYN makes a mistake, the consequences can be far-reaching. Don’t hesitate to get all the help you need, including financial compensation. Doctors are humans and we all make mistakes, but you and your child shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s error.