Napa, California—May 1, 2015—Obstetricians have the unique challenge of caring for two patients at the same time—mothers and neonates—and face potential risks during both pregnancy and delivery. A study issued today by The Doctors Company reveals the most common patient allegations against obstetricians and the leading factors that cause injuries during pregnancy and delivery.
The study of 882 obstetrical claims that closed from 2007–2014 revealed that the three most common patient allegations were:
The remainder of the cases studied included diagnosis-related claims and allegations of delay in delivery, improper performance of operative delivery, retained foreign bodies, and improper choice of delivery method.
“As the nation’s largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer, The Doctors Company has the largest database of malpractice claims,” said David B. Troxel, MD, medical director, The Doctors Company. “We are pleased to be able to share this data, which is clearly representative of the risks that obstetricians face when caring for mothers and during delivery.”
When malpractice suits are filed, practicing physicians are recruited by The Doctors Company to review the cases to look beyond what the patient is alleging and to determine the factors that led to the injuries.
“Understanding the causes of these allegations is a very important first step in a process whereby interventions can then be developed to address these system failures and improve the safety of care for our patients,” said Susan Mann, MD, a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.
In the case of obstetrics claims, the panel of experts found the following top seven factors, with more than one factor often contributing to each injury:
About The Doctors Company
Founded and led by physicians, The Doctors Company (www.thedoctors.com) is relentlessly committed to advancing, protecting, and rewarding the practice of good medicine. The Doctors Company is the nation’s largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer, with 76,000 members and $4.5 billion in assets, and is rated A by A.M. Best Company and Fitch Ratings.
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