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Report highlights steps that could reduce med mal lawsuits


Posted on behalf of Mark F. Griffin of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Mar 17, 2015 in Medical Malpractice

There are many different types of incidents in medical settings that when they occur could be considered medical malpractice. While all are tragic, those concerning the birth of children can be particularly heartbreaking. A report recently conducted by new Public Citizen focuses specifically on obstetric safety.

It concluded the best way to reduce the number of medical malpractice lawsuits that are filed is to simply reduce the number of medical mistakes that are made. The report outlines three steps in particular that could be taken in the care of mothers and babies that might reduce those mistakes.

The first is to improve communication and foster an environment where care providers feel that they can question doctors. In addition, terms used to describe common occurrences should be developed so that everyone understands what is being said.

Next, when possible, avoiding inducing the birth of a baby prior to 39 weeks of gestation is a good idea. While there are certain situations in which an induction before this point in the pregnancy is necessary for the health of the mother or the baby (and maybe both), other times that direction may unnecessarily be pursued.

Last, reducing the number of Cesareans that are performed could also help reduce the number of medical mistakes that occur. While the rate of c-sections varies from hospital to hospital, throughout the nation the number of deliveries occurring via that method is up from 20 percent two years ago, to close to a third of all deliveries.

This appears to be an area where great strides could be made. The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality published a report that provides an estimate of more than 157,000 newborns and mothers are avoidably injured in the course of child birth.

When a medical mistake that leads to injury occurs during childbirth or in any other situation, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be a good option. The first step is to contact a lawyer who handles such cases.