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Closed Claims Analysis of 65 Medical Malpractice Cases Involving Nurse-Midwives


  • Diane J. Angelini CNM, EdD,

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    • Diane J. Angelini, CNM, EdD, FACNM, FAAN, is Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology, Brown University, and Director of Nurse-Midwifery at Women & Infants' Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. She is Senior Editor of the Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing.

  • Linda Greenwald RN, MS

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    • Linda Greenwald, MS, RN, is Editor, Risk Management Publications, at ProMutual Group in Boston, Massachusetts. An obstetric nurse, she analyzes and trends medical malpractice claim data, develops continuing medical education programs for physicians, and writes a quarterly risk management newsletter for health care professionals in office practice.

Diane J. Angelini, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brown University, Director, Nurse Midwifery, Women & Infants Hospital, Providence, RI 02905. E-mail:


The threat of litigation in clinical midwifery is evident in daily practice. Although midwives have not had the same risk of claims and suits as obstetricians, all obstetric providers are potentially subject to claims of malpractice. Closed claims analysis has been used in the past to review risk patterns and to heighten awareness of certain risks. It is a methodology that can suggest corrective or preventive action for future practice and thereby minimize the risk of future errors. An analysis of nurse-midwifery closed claims can help to evaluate past risk and proactively modify future liability.