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Who are the responsible parties for delivery room errors?

For most Pennsylvania mothers preparing to give birth in a hospital setting, they are most likely aware that various medical professionals will assist in the entire labor and delivery process. However, if this is a mother's first child, she may not realize how many medical professionals she and her newborn could come in contact with. Because the actions and expertise of every medical professional assisting with the birthing process could greatly impact the outcomes of the delivery, it is important to understand how these action could have contributed to a birth, delivery or pregnancy-related injury.

Who are the responsible parties for delivery room errors? For those mothers opting for a hospital delivery room birthing process, this could quickly become a complex and lengthy process. This is especially true if complications arise or if labor is prolonged. In these matters various staff members will likely be in and out of the mothers hospital room and delivery room as shifts change and as specialist are needed.

A study not only focused on the medical errors occurring in obstetrics and gynecology but also physician-reported events. Because medical malpracticee disproportionately affects this branch of medicine and bad outcomes frequently occur when medical errors happen during the delivery process, this study focused on ways to understand the adverse events occurring within the OB-GYN branch and how it could be reduced.

During the 12-week project period that this study was based one, house officers filled out incident reporting cards. These included questions such as: did you encounter any obstacles to delivering high-quality care, were any patients injured or hospitalization extended as a result of your care, and if so, what happened, why, who were the responsible parties and were there any consequences for the patient?

With regards to responsible parties, this study found that laboratory staff, nurses and support staff were the most likely to cause adverse events or potential adverse events in the OB-GYN medical branch. The most common problem or issue was the failure to test or a delay in testing. This ultimately led to a delay in treatment, evaluation or procedure, which could result in harmful effects to the patient.

Suffering a pregnancy-related injury or having a newborn suffer a birth injury could be a serious medical issue. If a medical error was the cause of these issues, it is important that parents understand their rights and options, such as pursuing a medical malpracticee claim. This could help them seek compensation for losses and damages related to the incident.

Source:, "Physician-Reported Adverse Events and Medical Errors in Obstetrics and Gynecology," Martin November et al, August 2008

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