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  1. Greenwald, Linda M. RN, MS
  2. Mondor, Maureen RN, BS, ARM


Perinatal nurses are at higher risk for involvement in a malpractice suit than are their colleagues in other medical specialties. That risk can be minimized. A review of selected obstetrical malpractice claims reveals that key issues for perinatal nurses who want to avoid litigation include sound and current education in the interpretation of fetal heart rate tracings, the adoption of well-designed policies for the administration of oxytocin, ability and willingness to use the chain of command, comprehensive and objective documentation, and awareness of the fact that making the patient's well-being the focus of every nursing action is the perinatal nurse's best defense.