Examples of Negligence in the Medical Field

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Robyn Sztyndor Robyn Sztyndor

A nurse failing to follow basic safety protocols is considered negligence. The nurse may be held accountable for causing the patient harm by not placing the bed in the lowest position. Implementing safety protocols and educating patients can help prevent nursing negligence. Some safety measures that hospitals have in place include placing a cushioned mat beside the bed and a call light near the bedside. Patients should be aware of these safety measures and be informed if they are not followed.

Delayed diagnosis

While doctors should always treat their patients with care and respect, some are prone to make errors in diagnosis. A delayed diagnosis can lead to disastrous outcomes. For this reason, a patient suffering from a delayed diagnosis can file a medical malpractice lawsuit. If a doctor fails to make a timely diagnosis, he or she can receive compensation for their hospital bills, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Besides medical malpractice, delayed diagnosis can lead to lifelong disabilities and conditions. For example, a patient suffering from an undiagnosed heart condition can be subjected to invasive surgery to correct the problem. This requires lengthy recovery and is associated with risks. Another case of negligence in the medical field involves a delayed diagnosis of a stroke. This may result in permanent brain damage or even death.

Incorrect medication prescriptions

A doctor or nurse can be held liable for prescribing an incorrect dosage of medication to a patient. This error can happen as a result of a number of factors, including distraction. Incorrect medication prescriptions occur because the physician is distracted or does not follow the correct procedure to administer the medication. In the case of prescription medication errors, negligence must be proven if the prescription leads to a medical condition or injury.

Carelessness can lead to mistakes in medication prescriptions, which cost billions of dollars nationwide and result in significant morbidity and mortality. Improving patient safety requires a multi-faceted approach. These efforts must focus on communication and teamwork and encourage patients to become more educated about their medications. A culture of safety is necessary to reduce medication errors. It is also imperative that medical staff communicate with patients and ensure that they get the correct dosage and are aware of drug interactions.

Incorrect dosages

One example of negligence in the medical field is the mistaken dosage of a medication. Many drugs require that they be administered at a specific dosage. If a patient takes medicine that is not prescribed for them, he or she may have suffered irreversible brain damage as a result. These mistakes may be the fault of several parties, including a doctor, a nurse, and a pharmacist.

One example of negligence in the medical field is when a nurse blindly transcribes a doctor’s mistake. A doctor may intend to give his patient 0.5ml of atropine but forgets to include the decimal point in the order. Consequently, the nurse transcribing the order wrongly requested a 5ml dosage. The nurse might have suspected that the doctor had made a mistake and may be liable for the patient’s injuries.

Failure to review patient charts

Despite the importance of proper charting, physicians often fail to do so. A recent patient visit may result in an incorrect diagnosis. An admission nurse may not have known about the patient’s recent bowel perforation. Or, a failure to review patient records may result in an incorrect diagnosis of an epidural abscess, a serious medical condition causing spinal cord compression and permanent neurologic deficits. Failure to review patient charts may be a cause of medical liability in a malpractice case, and it’s often the case that doctors copy and paste the information to save time.

Even the smallest mistakes can compound into big errors. A day nurse might notice a patient with heavy drainage from a surgical wound but forget to document it. But by the time the evening nurse comes around, the bleeding has stopped. She should have documented the change of dressing, but she may have missed the next one altogether. That would be negligent. So, what can nurses do to prevent this from happening?

Failure to review nursing care plans

One of the most important duties of a nurse is to advocate for their patients. This means speaking up on the patient’s behalf, making sure that they understand what is going on, and documenting their responses to any treatment. When a nurse does not follow these guidelines, it is negligence in the medical field. It is also considered negligent if a patient suffers a mishap or injury as a result of a nurse’s care.

Nursing care plans should be reviewed frequently to ensure the quality of the patient’s care. Nurses should regularly assess their clients’ status. The assessment process starts as soon as a patient is admitted, and the plan for their treatment is based on this data. A nurse failing to evaluate the patient’s response to treatment is an example of negligence in the medical field.