Under Maryland, law nurses may be liable for medical malpractice if they fail to do what a reasonable nurse would do in a similarly situated circumstance, and a patient suffers harm as a result of that negligence. Many people think of medical malpractice claims in the context of a physician error; however, nursing is a critical part of a patient’s care, and deviance from appropriate care can have disastrous and deadly consequences. In most cases, these claims would fall under the nurses’ medical insurance coverage, the physician’s insurance, or the hospital’s medical malpractice coverage.
There are many different errors or a combination of mistakes that can result in a patient’s injuries. However, the leading causes involve medication errors and failure to monitor. While a physician holds the primary responsibility for prescribing a medication, nurses must ensure that they properly administer medications. This is critically important in hospital settings where nurses often use a dispensing cabinet to retrieve the medication. While these cabinets have many safeguards, the nature of a busy hospital often leads to nurses bypassing some of these protections. In these cases, nurses may run the risk of retrieving the wrong medication or dosage. Administering the wrong medication, too much medication, or the failure to administer medication can have deadly consequences on vulnerable patients. Furthermore, nurses may be liable if they fail to assess, monitor, and communicate a patient’s medical condition. Appropriate documentation and communication to the health team are critical to a patient’s well-being.
While the vast majority of nursing mistakes are because of negligence or accidents, some cases involve recklessness or the intent to cause harm. The New York Times recently reported that a nurse was convicted of capital murder for injecting air into four patients recovering from surgery. According to prosecutors, the nurse harmed at least 11 patients by engaging in this dangerous conduct; two of the patients later died. In support of their case, prosecutors presented telephone recordings where the nurse told his wife that he injected the air to prolong the stay of the patients so that he could accrue over time. However, he explained that he did not intend for the patients to die. In addition to criminal charges, the nurse and hospital may face civil charges from the families who received negligent and reckless treatment under his care.
Have You Suffered Injuries Because of a Negligent Healthcare Provider
If you or someone you love has suffered severe injuries or died because of a medical provider’s negligence, contact Lebowitz & Mzhen. The Maryland medical malpractice lawyers at our office have recovered significant amounts of compensation on behalf of our clients and their families. We handle an array of accident cases, such as those stemming from Maryland auto accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, premises liability, and wrongful death. We provide clients with individualized representation ensuring that they recover the damages the law entitles them. To learn more about the recovery process, contact our office at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team.