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Birth Injury

How important are nurses in the birthing process?

August 25, 2016

When considering the delivery of a child, most prospective parents think of the doctor as the most important person (other than the mother and child, of course). And it is true that the doctor is tremendously important in the pregnancy and birthing process. Expecting parents usually create a birth plan with their doctor and expect their doctors to be there during the birth to make critical decisions.

However, the nurses involved also carry a tremendous amount of influence. Especially with the often unpredictable aspects of birth, there are times when the on-call doctor cannot make it to the hospital on time for the delivery, leaving the parents and their nurses as the only ones on the scene. In situations like this, it is critically important that the nurses handling births are well trained and professional.

What Happens When Nurses Are Negligent?

A recent report on tells an alarming story of a woman who suffered greatly at the hands of her nurse. Although she had made a thorough birthing plan with her doctor, Caroline Malatesta found that her nurse at the hospital had other plans.

According to the report, as the doctor was on his way to the hospital, the nurse refused to let the mother labor in the positions agreed upon by her doctor. Instead, the nurse forced her on her back. Further, when the child started crowning, the nurse forced the child back into the mother. According to Malatesta, this lasted for several minutes until the doctor arrived.

Ultimately, Malatesta suffered serious, probably life-long injuries. Although she obtained more than $10 million in the subsequent lawsuit, the painful injuries and the traumatic memories might never subside.

Do Not Underestimate the Importance of Your Nurse

When you check into the hospital for you birthing, make sure you keep your eye out to make sure your nurse is capable and makes good decisions. If anything is wrong, remember: you are the parent and you have the right to dictate the manner of your child’s birth.

If your nurse has done anything questionable during the birth and you or your child have suffered injuries as a result, talk with an attorney right away to discuss the possibility of a birth injury claim.

About The Author

Photo of Jeffrey  Goldberg
Attorney Jeffrey M. Goldberg has spent his entire professional career handling cases involving birth injury, medical malpractice, product liability and related accidents.