Medical malpractice cases have become almost commonplace as people seek compensation for poor medical care. Most of us picture medical malpractice claims originating due to the negligence of a doctor during a procedure or in prescribing medication. However, the effects of nursing negligence can be just as severe and often fly under the radar. It’s important for any individuals seeking medical care to be aware of what does and doesn’t qualify you for a medical malpractice lawsuit due to nursing error.
It can be difficult to get a good handle on what puts a nurses actions into the realm of negligence. As with all other forms of malpractice claims, you need to prove their actions directly resulted in complications with your condition or recovery. For this reason it is imperative to find a seasoned team of medical malpractice lawyers to handle your case. Proof may be difficult to nail down in some cases but the most common nursing malpractice claims are sorted into two categories.
Medication Related Malpractice
Though the attending doctor is the one diagnosing and prescribing medication, it usually falls on the nursing staff to administer the meds. Unfortunately this opens up a greater potential for patients to receive the wrong medication. Nursing errors like this are most commonly the result of poor communication. Misreading a script, grabbing the wrong prescription, or simply giving out the wrong dose can be easy mistakes if the nursing staff isn’t being careful. Between the long hours, extra shifts, and heavy workload, it’s not uncommon for a nurse’s focus to dwindle and possibly lead to a malpractice lawsuit.
Care Related Negligence
Though they often go unnoticed, the nursing staff is spending more time with patients than the doctors are. This puts them at a higher risk for passing on hospital acquired infections as patients work through recovery. To minimize this risk, nurses are required to follow a checklist when caring for patients. Oral care, sterilizing medical equipment and of course washing hands all fall under this umbrella to limit liability. Failing to follow these and other simple procedures is often what leads to malpractice claims. Additionally, nursing negligence even extends the failure to care for patients. For example, a recovering patient falling on their way to the bathroom may develop into a malpractice case if the nurse failed to regularly check in.