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Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law
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Examples of Malpractice in Nursing


What Is Malpractice in Nursing?

Nursing malpractice, a subset of medical malpractice, is an area of law that many may not be aware of. Contrary to popular belief, it's not only doctors who can be held liable for malpractice; nurses can also face legal repercussions if they fail to provide adequate care or make negligent decisions that result in harm to patients.

Malpractice, in the healthcare context, involves a healthcare professional deviating from the accepted standards of practice in their field, leading to patient injury or death. Below, we will outline what acts may be considered nursing malpractice.

Common Nursing Errors

Here's a comprehensive list of common nursing errors that can lead to malpractice claims:

  • Miscommunication. This involves failure to communicate critical patient information to other healthcare providers. An example could be a nurse not updating a doctor about significant changes in a patient's condition, resulting in delayed or inappropriate treatment.
  • Medication errors. These errors could involve administering the wrong medication, failing to administer medication at the right time, or administering an incorrect dosage.
  • For instance, a nurse might mistakenly give a patient a medication they are allergic to, leading to severe reactions.
  • Lack of informed consent. Nurses are required to ensure that patients understand the potential risks and benefits of a procedure or treatment. If informed consent is not appropriately secured, it can result in legal complications should the patient encounter unexpected issues.
  • Falls and injuries. Nurses have a duty to protect patients from harm, including falls. If a nurse neglects to implement fall prevention measures for an at-risk patient, they may be held liable for any resulting injuries.
  • Failure to monitor patient’s conditions. Nurses must closely monitor their patients and promptly report any significant changes in their condition to the attending physician. If a nurse neglects this duty and the patient's condition worsens as a result, it could be grounds for a malpractice claim.
  • Documentation errors. Accurate record-keeping is essential in healthcare. Errors in patient documentation, such as failing to record vital signs or treatment details, can lead to misdiagnosis or incorrect treatment.

Reliable Counsel

The consequences of nursing malpractice can be severe. If found responsible, nurses can face disciplinary action from their licensing board, which can include suspension or revocation of their nursing license. They may also be held legally accountable, which can result in costly lawsuits and damage to their professional reputation.

At Michael Doyle, Attorney at Law, our attorney can advise you of your rights andpossible courses of action should you be injured due to a nurse’s negligence. Call (505) 219-2176 to schedule an initial consultation.