When are Nurses Liable for Medical Malpractice?

by David Peel on December 24, 2013

Nurses, like doctors, can be liable for medical malpractice in certain circumstances. Some common areas of nursing malpractice are: not acting when action is required, injuring a patient with medical equipment, and not properly giving medication. If you have suffered harm as a result of a nurse’s malpractice, you may be wondering what to do. However, it is important to remember that not all circumstances where a patient is injured are malpractice.

Nursing malpractice occurs when a nurse does not act the way another nurse would act in the same situation. When this deviation from the norm causes injury to a patient, it is malpractice. However, it is important to understand that not every circumstance where a patient is injured is malpractice. The nurse has to have acted negligently and her action must have deviated from the normal behavior.

A nurse may be liable for malpractice if she had a duty to take action and did not do so. This could occur if there was a medical emergency and the nurse failed to call an ambulance even though another nurse, in the same situation, would have called an ambulance. Nurses have a duty to monitor their patients and to take appropriate action when circumstances change. Again, this could mean calling an ambulance to take the patient to the hospital, or it could mean notifying the patient’s doctor.

A nurse may also be liable for malpractice if she misuses medical equipment when another nurse would not have. Here, this could happen in a number of different ways. A nurse could, for example, fail to remove an object during surgery when another nurse would have remembered to do so. Or, the nurse could pass the doctor the wrong equipment during surgery when another nurse would have known that the equipment given to the doctor was the wrong instrument.

And, a nurse could be liable for malpractice for not properly giving medication. This could mean that the nurse gave a patient a wrong dosage of medication because she failed to double-check the orders. It could also mean that the nurse gave the patient a shot in the wrong spot or to the wrong patient.

If you or someone you know would like more information, Mr. Peel can be reached through his website Mr. Peel specializes in personal injury. He practices in Millington, Tipton County and Memphis, Tennessee.

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