About Hospital & Obstetrical Nurse Negligence

During labor and delivery, pregnant women usually have most of their interaction with nurses from the hospital.  The doctor will frequently check in from time to time, but in the ordinary course the nurses are the ones who frequently monitor the health of the baby and mother.  The nurses are employees of the hospital.  When a nurse is negligent, the hospital’s insurance company provides a defense and pays any medical malpractice settlement or verdict.

Types of Nursing Negligence

Nurses have a responsibility to both the mother and the baby during labor and delivery.  When a nurse fails in his or her duties, there can be serious consequences to the patients.  When a baby is being born, nurses have the following duties:

    • Evaluation of the Baby:  nurses must pay attention to the health of the baby during labor and delivery, especially by monitoring the electronic fetal monitoring strips for signs of fetal distress (evidence that the baby may not be getting enough oxygen).  Nurses sometimes fail to recognize signs of distress, or fail to notify the obstetrician of problems.
    • Evaluation of the Mother:  the nurses’ second patient is the mother.  Nurses must continuously evaluate the mother for medical problems, such as fever, infection and bleeding.  Failure to do so can cause wrongful death of the mother, or medical complications due to postpartum negligence
    • Chain of Command:  if the nurse sees a problem and the doctor fails to do anything about it, the nurse has a duty to go up the hospital’s chain of command to find someone who can intervene on behalf of the patient.  Nurses, especially obstetrical nurses, are educated professionals who should be able to identify dangerous situations.  If the doctor won’t help, they must seek assistance from the charge nurse, the nurse manager, the chief of the department, the chief of staff, and the director of the hospital, if necessary.

Birth Injuries Caused by Nursing Negligence

When nurses deviate from their responsibilities, either because of inattention, lack of education, or lack of experience, there can be serious consequences for the mother and baby, including:

Contact us

If you or your baby were injured during labor and delivery, contact our medical malpractice lawyers at (855) 712-7818 or online for a free consultation.  Babies who have birth injuries can expect to need a lifetime of medical, therapeutic and other care, and we can help identify whether nursing negligence or physician negligence was the cause of your baby’s injuries.

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