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Choosing the Right Doctor for your Delivery

When a pregnant mother chooses a physician to deliver her baby, she expects a capable doctor who will act in a professional manner to protect her life and the life of her newborn. However, some women fail to adequately check the background of a potential obstetrician. They understandably assume that a practicing doctor is in good professional standing, without repeated incidents of patient injuries or deaths. Unfortunately, this assumption is not always correct and an expectant mother can end up with a physician who routinely provides substandard care.

A North Carolina Fox News affiliate reported about a doctor who was recently order to cease performing deliveries after three babies died during or closely following their births. The doctor first received his medical license in 2002 and reportedly focused his practice on at-home deliveries. The North Carolina Board of Medicine issued an Interim Non-Practice Agreement stopping the physician from giving any obstetrical care until the conclusion of a full investigation and disciplinary hearing.

No criminal charges have been filed against the doctor, but the three families did file official complaints with the Medical Board. Further complicating matters, it was recently reported that the doctor was previously involved in a lawsuit alleging that he caused permanent injury to a baby born in 2005. The major claims of the suit included:

***Improper vaginal delivery despite obvious risk factors
***Failure to perform a timely cesarean delivery
***Misuse of forceps and vacuum extraction during delivery
***The infant suffered from shoulder dystocia due to the malpractice of the physician

According to reports, the court ultimately entered a default judgment against the doctor after he failed to answer the allegations with a response.

Finding the Right Physician

An article in Parents magazine offers expectant mothers some guidance on choosing the right obstetrician for you. The first step is to decide on the type of delivery you ultimately want. Consider the pros and cons of a home delivery, birthing center or hospital setting. Next, identify several doctors with the characteristics you desire. Don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends for references. The personal experiences of others can provide a great deal of insight into the professionalism of a physician.

After you narrow down your choices, do your homework. Check the medical board in your area to find out about any disciplinary actions or pending complaints. If the report is positive, check out the hospital where the doctor delivers. The hospital staff will play a big role in your delivery and you want to ensure that their reputation is also stellar. After doing your homework, the article suggests that you schedule an initial consultation and listen to your intuition. If something feels wrong, look elsewhere.

If you or your baby suffered a birth injury, contact the experienced attorneys of Levin & Perconti at (312) 332-2872 for a free consultation.

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