Can You Sue A Midwife For Malpractice?


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Midwives provide care to pregnant women before, during, and after childbirth. Most midwives are experienced and perform their roles with knowledge, skill, and professionalism. They offer a valuable service to women who want a natural birth. Unfortunately, even the smallest mistake or negligence can be devastating, resulting in tragedy.

What Does A Midwife Do?

Midwives care for women of all ages by providing primary care, gynecologic services, care during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum, care for newborns up to about a month old, and treatment for any sexually transmitted infections in women and their partners. Many midwives work alongside OB/GYN physicians as part of a medical team. However, some midwives have private practices or work in settings, including patients’ homes, birthing centers, and health clinics.

Midwives perform some of the same duties as many other medical professionals. They make initial assessments, provide ongoing monitoring, make diagnoses, and provide treatment. Some midwives can:

  • Perform physical examinations
  • Order lab and diagnostic tests
  • Prescribe medications
  • Admit patients to the hospital

Are There Different Types Of Midwives?

Typically, midwives fall into two categories, nurse midwives and direct-entry midwives. Nurse midwives are trained in nursing and midwifery, while direct-entry midwives are only trained in midwifery.

Certified nurse midwives are registered nurses who took additional training in pregnancy, labor, and delivery and earned master’s degrees in nurse-midwifery. These midwives are part of the mainstream medical industry and are certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. However, they are not allowed to perform Cesarean section deliveries or use forceps or vacuums to assist with deliveries. Instead, certified nurse midwives usually care for women with low-risk pregnancies who are not likely to need those types of medical interventions.

Direct-entry midwives typically operate in independent practices and have been trained at a midwifery school, through an apprenticeship, or taken a college midwifery program. They provide prenatal care and home deliveries or birth center deliveries.

In Pennsylvania, midwives are required to be certified nurse midwives. The board of medicine and the board of nursing must license them. Direct-entry midwives are not permitted to practice in the state.

How Does Midwife Malpractice Happen?

Just like other medical professionals, midwives can commit medical malpractice if they fail to meet the accepted standard of care and it causes injury to a patient. Some of the ways midwife malpractice happens include:

  • Improper administration of medications or supplements
  • Failure to monitor for fetal distress properly
  • Aggressive or improper methods of delivery
  • Failure to consult with or refer to a physician when fetal distress or other difficulties occur

Numerous missteps can result in birth injuries. When a midwife makes a mistake or their negligence results in the injury or death of a baby, it’s essential to consult an experienced birth injury attorney to assess the case.

Is It Midwife Malpractice Or A Bad Outcome?

Most of the time, pregnancy and childbirth have few, if any, problems. However, in some cases, there are tragic outcomes in which a newborn suffers serious complications or death. It can be challenging to ascertain whether a negative outcome was unavoidable or if a midwife or other medical professional was negligent.

As a parent, you may feel that something went wrong or that something is wrong with your baby. Frequently, new parents ignore this feeling and simply concentrate on providing the best care possible to their children. However, if you have the sense that there was a mistake made or that negligence occurred and your baby suffered injury as a result, you should contact an experienced birth injury attorney right away. An attorney can help you determine if malpractice occurred and how to proceed with your case.

Choose Ross Feller Casey For Your Birth Injury Case

If your baby suffered an injury during pregnancy, delivery, or postpartum, and you believe it is a result of midwife malpractice, the legal team at Ross Feller Casey can help. We have experienced birth injury lawyers with proven track records of winning cases and a team of top physicians on staff who can review medical records and identify when negligence happened.

At Ross Feller Casey, we are prepared to fight for your family’s rights and to help you get the compensation you deserve. We know that a financial settlement or recovery cannot reverse the harm that was done to your child, but it can ease the burden of mounting medical expenses and provide a sense of justice.

Contact our office today for your free case evaluation. We don’t charge any upfront fees; you only pay when we win your case.

Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.