Nursing Malpractice and Serious Injuries

When people think of malpractice as related to medical care, they often restrict their thoughts to what doctors, dentists, surgeons, etc. do wrong.  The experienced Kingston medical malpractice attorney knows that the negligent treatment of patients extends far beyond that short list. 

Patients encounter many actors in the medical field when they receive treatment.  Nurses, for example, are seen by patients almost every time the patient also sees a doctor.  Oftentimes, the nurse is the first medical professional encountered during a visit to a medical office or hospital. 

Nurses have the same duty as do doctors; they must not do something (or fail to do something) that causes the patient harm during the course of treatment.  The harm talked about is negligent harm; meaning, if another nurse under the same or similar circumstances would not have made the mistake that the offending nurse made, negligence has arisen. 

Of course, the appearance of negligence does not automatically mean that the injured patient can collect money from the nurse via a law suit.  The injured patient must have been injured by the nurse’s negligence, and the injury must have caused the patient to suffer a loss (lost money, employment, pain and suffering, and so on). 

Not only can the nurse be held liable, but so too can the hospital that which employed the nurse.  That is, so long as the nurse was doing her/his job when she/he committed the negligence.  Note that an independent doctor (not employed by the hospital) must not have been supervising the nurse at the time.  An independent doctor that was supervising the nurse could be liable in that instance.  But remember, if the hospital employed nurse knowingly carried a doctor’s improper directives, the hospital can be back on the hook for negligence.     

In summary, patients who are negligently injured by nurses can seek compensation from the nurse, the doctor in charge of the nurse, and even from the hospital that which employed the nurse.  What types of things have nurses done that amounted to negligence?  Here is a short list.

  • Administering the wrong medication to the patient.
  • Administering the wrong dosage to the patient.
  • Forgetting to administer medication to the patient.
  • Failing to treat the patient’s medical needs, such as cleaning and caring for a patient’s bed sores.
  • Failing to monitor the patient’s vital signs.
  • Improperly inserting an IV into the patient.
  • Failing to record patient information, such as recording which drugs were administered, vital signs, and other information into the patient’s record.
  • Failing to monitor and control a patient’s movements throughout the facility.
  • Any act or omission that should not have occurred during the nurse’s presence in surgery.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected]  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com

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