Medical and Nursing Malpractice
This involves the professional negligence of a healthcare provider or the negligence of the healthcare facility.
Four Elements of Malpractice
The four elements of medical malpractice that must be satisfied before filing:
- Breach of Duty
The burden of proof is on the plaintiff, the party with the complaint. If any of the four elements is not satisfied, malpractice is not proven.
The following are common situations where action is required
Nurses are often the frontline for a patient. If the patient has a sudden emergency, a nurse may be liable if he or she doesn't take appropriate immediate steps. This may involve actions like administering a medication or calling for help.
Similarly, a nurse is under a duty to monitor a patient's condition. If the nurse notices something of concern, or should notice it, then the nurse may be liable for malpractice for not notifying the attending doctor.
Injuring a Patient with Equipment
A nurse will be liable for malpractice if he or she injures a patient with a piece of medical equipment. This can happen in a variety of ways, like knocking something heavy onto the patient, burning the patient, or leaving a sponge inside the patient after surgery.
Improper Administration of Medication
Administering medication according to the doctor's orders is a common nursing task. If the nurse fails to follow the orders, she or he will be liable for malpractice if the patient is injured. The nurse may also be liable for negligently following otherwise proper orders, like injecting a medication into muscle instead of a vein or injecting the wrong patient.