Most of us would expect doctors and nurses to wash their hands and change their rubber gloves before delivering a baby, but a majority of medical professionals who responded to a survey said they had seen their colleagues fail to take these sanitary measures.

And the survey participants weren’t necessarily thinking back on a lifetime of work in the medical field; almost all of the nurses, along with 90 percent of the midwives and doctors, reported having seen such mistakes in the last year. Expecting mothers and fathers in New Jersey should take note.

Essentially, it was perceived that medical professionals who deliver babies were cutting corners and taking shortcuts that put patients at risk. Of the 3,200 survey participants, an alarming number said they had witnessed a colleague’s failure to attend to important details such as washing hands. Either that, or the participants perceived that a colleague had job-performance problems, lacked the knowledge to do the job or had behaved inappropriately toward a co-worker.

The majority of survey participants — 77 percent of nurses, about 65 percent of doctors and 60 percent of midwives — said their colleagues’ actions either caused patients harm or threatened their safety. In some cases, seeing the mistake caused the observing party to consider quitting his or her job.

Still, few of the respondents actually confronted their colleagues about the problems. Other times, when a report was made to a manager, the manager didn’t follow up.

The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology is expected to publish the study.

New Jersey parents with concerns about negligent prenatal care may want to visit our birth injury site. Our firm helps parents whose children have been injured as a result of medical negligence.

Source: Huffington Post, “Most Doctors, Nurses And Midwives Observe Risky Shortcuts Taken During Delivery (STUDY),” Rachel Rettner, July 25, 2013