Can a Nurse Be Held Liable for Injuries Sustained During Labor and Delivery?

The birth of a new baby should be nothing short of a joyful occasion for families. However, unfortunately, there are often times when shortcomings in healthcare lead to birth-related injuries to both a mother and her child. Obstetric or “labor and delivery” nurses play an integral role in maintaining the health of the laboring mother and her child. Not only do these nurses directly render patient care, but they are also responsible to timely and accurately relay information regarding the mother and child’s condition to doctors and other nurses through the course of labor and delivery.

Accordingly, obstetric nursing staff may be liable for shortcomings in their care resulting in injuries to a mother and/or child.


Often nurses have more interaction with those patients in labor than doctors. They provide care before, during, and after the delivery. Their various duties may include:

  • Administering medication
  • Monitoring the fetal heartbeat and fetal “well-being”
  • Monitoring the length and strength of contractions
  • Monitoring the mother’s blood pressure and other vital signs
  • Identifying problems and potential issues, and conveying information appropriately to treating physicians or midwives
  • Assisting other healthcare providers during the actual delivery of the newborn


If an obstetric nurse negligently or carelessly departs from the standards of care, it may result in serious injuries to the mother, baby, or both. One of the most important aspects of labor and delivery nursing care is the monitoring of fetal “well-being”. Nurses need to be well versed in and cognizant of the signs and symptoms of fetal distress or imminent distress. If such conditions arise, labor and delivery nurses need to administer appropriate treatment, AND, timely convey information with regard to these conditions to the attending physicians and other nursing staff. Failures in this regard can result in severe injuries (including fetal brain injury), or may precipitate a stillbirth.

If your family has suffered the consequences of nursing negligence during the labor and delivery process, and that sub-par care resulted in injury to either the laboring mother or newborn child, contact the New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys at Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari to have your potential claim evaluated. Call us at 973-845-4421.3

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