All doctors, including obstetricians, owe their patients a duty of care. Generally, this means that a doctor must act with reasonable care when diagnosing, treating, and advising a patient. If the doctor fails to provide reasonable care and the patient is hurt, then the doctor may have committed medical malpractice.
Defining a Kentucky Obstetrician’s Standard of Care
The duty of care is a legal standard. It is not a medical standard. Therefore, most doctors and patients do not consider an obstetrician’s standard of care until something goes wrong.
According to the Kentucky Medical Association, doctors have a duty to use the degree of care and skill that is expected of a reasonably competent doctor of the same specialty acting in the same or similar circumstances. Thus, a Kentucky obstetrician (OB) has a duty to act in the same way that a reasonably competent OB would act in the situation.
Some examples of failing to provide reasonable care may include:
- Failure to monitor the mother or baby during pregnancy, labor, or delivery
- Failure to identify and treat potential problems such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or placental abruption
- Failure to perform a C-section, if necessary for the safety of the mother or baby
- Failure to use tools such as vacuums or forceps with reasonable safety
In some cases, the failure to provide reasonable care in one or more of these ways can result in birth injuries.
Find Out Why Your Child Suffered a Birth Injury
Pregnancy and childbirth have inherent risks that even the best doctors can’t eradicate. Expert testimony is often needed to determine whether a birth injury was medical malpractice or an injury that would have occurred even if an OB had acted with reasonable care.
Our birth injury legal team can review what happened to your child. Our staff nurse and experienced attorneys will find out why your child suffered a birth injury. If your child’s birth injury was caused by an OB’s negligence, we will advise you of your rights and help you make the decisions that are right for your child’s future. Contact us online or call our Louisville office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule your free consultation.
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