When most people think of medication mistakes, they think of errors that occur that are made by doctors or surgeons. However, the reality is that patients are regularly treated by nurses who can also make detrimental mistakes. At the Weitz Firm, our Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys want to discuss the most common medical mistakes made by nurses and what you can do if you or a loved one has been the victim of one of these errors.
Nursing errors can lead to significant patient harm
Most people do not spend much time with their actual doctors. Whether you go to your local doctor’s office or need to spend time in the emergency room or hospital, your doctor will only be with you for brief periods of time. The doctor will make the major diagnostic decisions and prescribe a treatment plan, but implementing those plans will be up to the nurses.
When analyzing various studies about mistakes made by nurses that can cause patient harm, we can see that some of the most common errors include:
Medication mistakes. This can include giving the patient the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of a medication. In some instances, this can include not giving a patient their medications at all.
Documentation. At the heart of all medical care is good documentation. If a nurse fails to keep detailed notes on a patient’s charts, this can derail their patient care.
Infection prevention and control. Nurses are on the frontlines of ensuring that patients are protected from infections. This includes properly washing after every patient to ensuring that patient rooms and common areas are properly decontaminated.
Miscommunication. The best way to prevent errors is for nurses to communicate properly with patients, other nurses, and doctors about a patient’s care.
Falls. Many patients have an elevated risk of sustaining a fall and subsequent injury. It is important that nurses know the risks that their patients have and implement proper fall prevention protocols, including bed railings and alarms.
Johns Hopkins Researchers say that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death each year in the US, claiming approximately 250,000 lives annually. These mistakes cause millions of people to harm each year.
Our medical malpractice attorneys in Philadelphia
If you or somebody you love has sustained an injury caused by a mistake made by a nurse, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At the Weitz Firm, our qualified and experienced team will conduct a full investigation into your case in order to secure any compensation you may be entitled to. This can include:
Coverage of any medical bills related to the nursing mistake
Lost income if you cannot work while recovering
Pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life damages
Possible punitive damages against the health care facility