Litigations in Obstetric and Gynecological Practice: Can it be prevented? A Probability to Possibility.

Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology of India

PubMedID: 27651659

Gowda SL, Bhandiwad A, Anupama NK. Litigations in Obstetric and Gynecological Practice: Can it be prevented? A Probability to Possibility. J Obstet Gynaecol India. 2016;66(Suppl 1):541-7.
BACKGROUND
Litigation in medical practice is becoming a global problem. So it is necessary to know what constitutes negligence and what is required to prove it and how far it is preventable.

OBJECTIVES
To analyze the prevalence and reasons for litigations in Obstetrics and Gynaecology for medical negligence and deficiency in service. To analyze on what grounds negligence was proved and to know whether it was preventable.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
It is a retrospective analysis of the judgments obtained from all the District Consumer Courts of South India and was specifically analyzed for reasons in filing the case, nature of settlement, and factors considered in deciding negligence especially in the field of obstetrics and gynecology.

RESULTS
Totally 1317 cases were found on medical negligence and deficiency in service, with 347 (26.34 %) cases on Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBG) topping the list. Out of 347 cases on OBG 312 (89.91 %) cases were settled in the Courts. Negligence was proved in 98 (31.41 %) cases and 214 (68.59 %) cases were dismissed without compensation. 77 (24.68 %) cases on gynecology were filed with common reasons for litigation being Post-op complications, intraop complications (11.68 %), extension of surgery beyond consent (2.6 %) and out of 235 (75.32 %) cases on Obstetrics, tubectomy failure (23.82 %), birth asphyxia (10.21 %), traumatic injury to new born (5.96 %) were the common reasons for litigations. Inadequate documentation and improper consent were the main factors considered in deciding negligence on part of the doctors.

CONCLUSION
With reasonable skill and care in diagnosis and treatment, proper documentation and legally valid consent it is not probable but possible to prevent litigations.