Nurse Error - Malpractice

Nurse Error - MalpracticeNurses have an extremely important role to play in the observation and care of patients in the hospital setting. If nurses are not vigilant, patients suffer. Just as some doctors do not listen, some nurses, often because hospitals are understaffed, neglect critical details in patient care. Nurses have an obligation to properly carry out doctors’ orders, administer medication and therapies, observe and listen to patients, and report their observations promptly and accurately, calling doctors when needed.

Nursing malpractice can occur because nurses, like some doctors, do not listen to patients, do not note or appreciate the significance of abnormal symptoms or vital signs, do not carry out “stat” orders immediately leading to a harmful delay in treatment, do not call doctors when necessary or perform a task improperly, such as inserting an intravenous line into the wrong location.

In the case of improperly inserted IV lines, negligent placement of lines can cause nerve damage or worse. One of our partners successfully litigated a case (achieving a substantial award for his client) where a nurse placed an intravenous line into a newborn baby’s artery instead of the vein. Other nurses then stood idly by while a portion of the arm’s color turned from red to blue to black. This negligence caused a clot that cut off circulation down the baby’s arm and ultimately caused the loss of the baby’s hand. This case represents just one of many sad examples of preventable injury caused by medical malpractice.

When patients are bedridden for a long time, nurses must carefully monitor them, turn the patient and treat their skin to avoid bedsores. Bedsores are almost always preventable and should not occur. If neglected, bedsores can look like lunar craters in the skin and can lead to a major, life threatening infection. (Note: If you or a loved one has suffered severe bed sores, timely photographs should always be taken in order to preserve this important evidence.)

Nurses also need to ensure that proper fall precautions are maintained for patients who are at risk for falling when getting out of bed or attempting to walk in the hospital setting. Many people suffer serious head injuries, orthopedic injuries and neurologic injuries each year because they fall due to a lack of fall precautions or negligent supervision by hospital staff.

So, nurses are really on the front line of medical monitoring of a sick patient and must be attentive and careful at all times. When they fall below this standard of care, they are medically negligent.

If you or a loved one has been injured by malpractice and you would like to speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer, please contact us to speak to one of the lawyers at Boyers Law Group, for a free consultation about your legal rights.

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