Most of the time, when people think of malpractice cases, they think of physicians or hospitals as being the responsible party. And it's true that typically a doctor or hospital will be held responsible for damages in malpractice cases, but nurses can actually cause the harm or injury that leads to malpractice.
Nurses are a doctor's or hospital's front line for patient care. It is a nurse's responsibility to monitor a patient's condition and it's typically a nurse that notices first when something goes wrong with patients under their care. Nurses also administer drugs to patients and operate medical equipment in the administering of patient care.
Because of their level of responsibility in patient health, inadequate care and treatment or negligent care on the part of a nurse can certainly rise to the level of malpractice.
Nursing malpractice occurs when a nurse fails to perform his or her medical responsibilities competently and it leads to patient injury. Not all mistakes, of course, rise to the level of malpractice. There are legal guidelines for defining medical malpractice.
But because nurses have patient oversight in a variety of situations and settings, when negligence incompetence is at play, nursing malpractice can occur.
Some common situations where nursing malpractice has occurred include:
- Not alerting a doctor of a sudden emergency
- Administering the wrong medication or the wrong dose of prescribed medication
- Injecting medication into a muscle instead of a vein
- Failing to operate medical equipment properly
- Leaving a sponge inside a patient after surgery
When nursing malpractice does occur, those responsible for the nurse's negligent acts are responsible for damages in the eyes of the courts.
Liability for damages in a resulting malpractice suit depend on a lot of factors (whether a nurse was an employee of the hospital or was supposed to be under the control of an independent physician, for instance). But the same rules apply in these cases in that expert testimony is key to proving fault.
That is one reason you should always seek the counsel of an experiences medical malpractice attorney when seeking damages in a personal injury medical malpractice case.
The attorneys at Panio Law Offices have a wealth of experience in documenting, negotiating and even arguing medical malpractice cases.We have access to qualified medical experts that are able to examine the evidence and help us determine the merit of your case.
If you have any questions about a nursing malpractice case or would like to file a personal injury claim, please call (312) 313-0305. We can help.