Nursing home abuse is a tragic sin against the elderly. It is even more tragic when a victim of nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect finds the courage to speak up and there is no one there to help them. Often claims of or nursing home neglect are easy for nursing homes to deny for the simple matter that the elderly are more likely to lose some of their mental capacity.

Nursing home abuse as well as outright medical malpractice often go unreported by staff members the elderly choose to confide in. This is due to the staff member’s fear that the entire nursing home will lose credibility and the innocent employees will find themselves out of a job and facing legal trouble.

Innocent employees in doubt should contact a reputable nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss the situation in complete detail, as the nursing home abuse and malpractice lawyer can advise an innocent employee how to most effectively handle the nursing home abuse, the nursing home neglect, or the medical malpractice occurrences. It takes a great deal of courage for an innocent nursing home employee to seek out the advice of a nursing home abuse lawyer and follow through on their direction.

Nursing home residents are more likely to report nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, or medical malpractice to an employee they like and trust, and their faith is then placed in that individual to help resolve the situation. Too often the innocent employee is willing to sweep the report under the rug. An employee at a nursing home that is charged with this information becomes equally as culpable as the individual who perpetrated the nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, or the case of medical malpractice.

Covering up incidents only leads to more incidents of nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, or medical malpractice. Every incident after the initial incident reported becomes equal responsibility of the staff member who did nothing about the initial report of nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, or medical malpractice.

If there is a question to the mental capacity of the residents making the report of the nursing home abuse, or medical malpractice, it is still suitable and advisable to seek the council of a competent nursing home abuse lawyer. Whether a resident makes a habit of reporting abuse that doesn’t exist or is expressing a legitimate concern, the nursing home employee is legally obligated to report it.

Nobody wants to make waves or toss our unfounded accusations at good and caring colleagues. However, residents of a nursing home have so little power, and almost no voice. Their need for safety and security outweighs an uncomfortable moment experienced by reporting nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, or obvious medical malpractice. Source:

On my recent statistical wanders, I figured out that most nursing homes only report 1.5 falls per year. If you have been to an actual nursing home, you will find this data a bit disturbing. Taking in mind the vast number of elderly people living in nursing homes, their disease condition like parkinson's and alzheimer's, nursing negligence cases should be worth a second look.

In connection, 1,800 people "supposedly" die each year due to falls. This is itself is alarming dont you think so? Think of it as the total number of people in a good sized mall at one time,that's how many people die each year due to one case of nursing negligence and malpractice. And that's assuming its really the right stats. I reckon there's more, a lot more.

In a recent study, they actually proved this fact wrong as they asserted 75% of the elderly people fall out of bed in a nursing home at least once a year. Three out of four people fall each year. That's gotta be something to think about isnt it?

If you have a loved one in a nursing home or you are planning to get him to one, make sure you check the following:

  • The nursing home's reputation - Ask around. Look for recommendations from doctors or nurses. They are the ones who can tell you which ones are good and which ones you will be better off keepign your loved one at home.
  • Nursing home care facilities - Look for minor things which can eventually save your loved one from a nursing care abuse or negligence. Make sure there are grab bars, lowering beds and raising toilet seats. These are minor things but without it, your loved one may be one of those three out of four people.
  • Visit them once in a while - Apart from psychological reasons, this will give you the assurance they are in good hands as you can see for yourself their living condition.
  • Get a nursing home as close to your home as possible - If this is near you, you'll probably have more time with your loved one and be able to check on them conveniently.
Remember, bed falls from nursing care negligence is a big business in medical and legal field. It pays to prevent. Always does.

A bill gets passed in congress to protect people primarily from nursing homes from elder abuse, nursing negligence and malpractices. For the fourth time in a row, four senators have been pushing to pass the bill which has the goal of increasing federal budget to promote data gathering and evidence finding to protect the elderly from physical, financial or psychological abuse.

"More than 500,000 Americans over 60 are the victims of domestic abuse," Hatch said. "I am committed to doing all I can to pass legislation to protect them from those who would prey upon them physically, financially and psychologically."

The bill would focus on long term care facilities such as nursing homes. The senators insisted that this is going to be a smart move since 67 million people of senior age is going to nursing homes in the coming three decades. Of this massive number, more than 500,00 actually been a nursing home abuse or negligence in varying degrees.

I found this great article over the net and I thought this might be a good resource for nurses who wants to keep away from nurse malpractices. As a matter of logic, who wants to have a nursing abuse or malpractice case anyways?

This is an article by rose cliffords and I have the greatest respect for her. She knows her craft and I think she is well learned about nursing abuse laws. Just the kind of expertise I need on this Nursing Negligence and Abuse Blog.

The lack of and inconsistent medical record documentation continues to exist in the delivery of emergency department care. Whether the emergency department is busy or not, there seems to be a high number of emergency department records reviewed from a medical legal standpoint either for standard of care issues, personal injury descriptions, justification of payment or evidence of criminal injuries.

In analyzing medical records for more than 20 years, it is often apparent that both emergency department doctors and nurses are challenged to document care delivered in more complete and concise detail. Realizing by the very nature of the specialty area where time is of the essence, it is not surprising to see the continued lack of legible handwritten notes or the sketchy legible clear electronic notes. Either forms of documentation hinder retrospective audits of the emergency department medical record that would help support the evidence that appropriate comprehensive care was in fact delivered or that injuries were related to out-of-facility events.

This becomes a real issue in cases that are evaluated for medical and nursing malpractice or where a personal injury occurred such as in a motor vehicle accident or a work related injury resulting in the loss of a limb that will later need to be explained. Consistent points in issue that make it hard to defend or explain the extent of the injury are:

· Lack of documentation

· Lack of consistent legible documentation

· Failure to document the time care was delivered

· Lack of legible signatures of healthcare providers

· Failing to intervene

· Lack of documenting when consultants are called in

· Rewriting entire entries

· Delays in evaluation, diagnosis, treatment

· Failing to confirm the accurate placement of peripheral intravenous catheters in a vein instead of in an artery

· Failure to confirm accurate placement of central venous catheters prior to use or administration of medications

· Errors in IV administration of medications dosage, dilution, rate

· Lack of communication

Remember the medical record is a tool that all healthcare providers use to communicate any and all care provided to the patient. Its fundamental purpose is to facilitate the continuity of healthcare, but its use lives well beyond the immediate emergency department visit. Article by: Rose Clifford,RN

Nursing Home Negligence in Kentucky : A Case of Medication Error

Medication error is never a debatable issue. If it comes right down to it, it all the fault of everybody in the health care team. Doctors cannot deny the fact that they are responsible for giving the right dosage and timing of medications. On the same manner, nurses are not spared from the obligation because the 7 rights of medication has to be followed.

Perhaps the question would then be : Who weighs the most responsibility?

Medication error is one of the most common forms of nursing home negligence today. On the legal side of things, Overmedication in nursing home negligence lawsuits is not in any manner, easy to prove, and many attorneys would opt for recommend class action suits when it comes to overmedication nursing home abuse. The reason for this is because it is easier to prove a relative misconduct over a period of time rather than proving over medication on each instance.In this case, the nursing home or hospital where the victim is kept will given the necessary legal action.

If overmedication is suspected, the best thing to do is to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer and ask for advice. In most cases, a nursing home lawsuit will be recommended to not only dispel the problem, but to compensate the victim for their suffering and attain ample funds to move them to a facility that doesn’t overmedicate or perform other forms or abuse.

Take for instance this case of nursing home negligence in kentucky. A 76 year old mother has been given medications (not disclosed information) to calm the patient down each time her anxiety attacks come. She has been given more than the required dose for the nurses to have less time caring for her and to be able to "manage" her.

Nursing home lawsuits are setting a higher standard in nursing home care, and nursing home abuse attorneys are working diligently on behalf of victims that can not or are too afraid to speak up for themselves. Nursing home abuse goes undetected because victims feel trapped, they have nowhere else to go and are fearful of repercussions if they should tell someone about the nursing home abuse.

Filing a nursing home lawsuit on behalf of a victim can lead to repercussions, and it is always best to move the resident to another facility if it is at all possible while litigation begins. A nursing home abuse lawyer can often assist in how to legally break contracts based on abuse suspicions even while the allegations of nursing home abuse are under investigation.

Fortunately, close relatives who have medical backgrounds were able to detect unusal signs of their loved one including: sudden withdrawal from those around them, sleeping too much, the sense that they do not hear or respond when spoken to, and even the sudden onset of drooling, nose picking, or tongue smacking.

This case of Nursing Home Negligence in Kentucky didnt take so long for it to catch the attention of medical negligence lawyers who are oftentimes hungry for these cases. They run around looking for tiny speck of evidence and never hesitate to sue anyone in the medical profession.

While nursing home abuse lawsuits are not easy to prove when medication error is the abuse that is being alleged, if the resident is evaluated in a different facility and their medication is significantly altered, this is evidence of nursing home abuse. Numerous physicians can review the resident’s charts and meet with the victim to help determine if overmedication is present while the nursing home abuse lawyer proceeds with a investigation and filing a nursing home lawsuit. It is important that family members continue to act on behalf of their loved one in order to file a nursing home lawsuit, as it is unlikely that the victim will be able to handle the entire process, if any of it, on their own. Winning a nursing home lawsuit is a team effort, and your family member will be counting on you to help them throughout the entire process. If the overmedication was severe, they may not even remember it very well if at all. If your loved one has other serious medical problems such as dementia or Alzheimer’s they may not be able to testify on their own behalf.

Nursing home abuse lawyers are the backbone of breaking through nursing home abuse, and their services are desperately needed throughout the country. Of course, there is no guarantee that another nursing home won’t be guilty of some form of nursing home abuse, but thankfully, nursing home abuse lawyers are becoming educated not only of the standards of the law, but the standards of nursing homes in their area. Nursing home abuse lawyers become very familiar with the substandard nursing home, as more and more family members are stepping forward on behalf of their loved one to file nursing home lawsuits. This higher level of vigilance by family members is effectively raising the standard of care throughout the country.

If you suspect overmedication, or any other form of nursing home abuse, it is highly recommended that you contact a nursing home lawyer as soon as possible. Aside from filing a nursing home lawsuit, often simply contacting an attorney will entice the nursing home in question to raise their standard of care. Nursing Home Negligence in Kentucky

Getting into a nursing negligence case these days is not as unimaginable as it was decades ago. This is a fact that all of us nurses must face. Just a few years ago, I had a friend whos got herself a nursing negligence claim in Mississippi. She got into trouble because the doctor blamed her for an order she allegedly missed. She didnt know what to do or who to call and it was too late for me to help her. I guess that's how they do nursing negligence cases in Mississippi.

As nurses increasingly find themselves named as individual defendants in medical malpractice cases, issues related to legal representation arise. Hospital nurses covered under the liability policy of their employer find themselves represented by an attorney whose client is actually the hospital.

The near unavoidable circumstance of conflict of interest is manifested differently among the hospital and the nurses who are under its umbrella of management. Separate legal representation is required if the representation of one client will have an adverse effect on the representation of another.

This is where a nursing negligence defense attorney will be or help to a nurse. Nurses need personal counsel to protect their individual interests. For example, discovery issues, including possible assertions of privilege, may be very important to the nurse personally but not very important to the hospital. Furthermore, situations may arise where the nurse cannot be represented fully by the hospital for conflicting of goals and interest in any nursing or medical negligence case. Or a nurse may be very interested in settling a claim to avoid personal exposure while the hospital would prefer to try the case.

As is mentioned above, a physician will often blame the nursing staff for a medical injury. When the physician is an employee of the hospital or may be considered an agent whose negligence will be legally imputed to the hospital, the interests of the nurses are frequently sacrificed.The mere possibility of divided loyalty should raise the question whether common representation is permissible. There is little doubt that conflicting interests among defendants in medical negligence cases are a very real problem. The nurse's interests would be better protected by personal counsel in nearly every case.

Providing excellent nursing care may not prevent you from being named in a malpractice suit, but having the sense to carry your own individual professional liability insurance policy will certainly help relieve worries about adequate representation as well as help protect your best interests.

Abuse of nurses whether be in Mississippi or wherever is the same. It would help a lot more if we will be more vigilant in carrying out our work as advocates of patients.

Rights of Elderly Nursing Home Residents

1987 was a milestone in giving rights of elderly patients especially those who's loved ones do not have the luxury of time, space, and money to take care of their loved ones thus forcing them to stay in a nursing home. In this year, the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, nursing home residents were guaranteed certain rights.

In Louisiana, the Health Care Facilities Act of 1979 (as amended in 1999) requires nursing homes to meet these minimum federal requirements. Louisiana law also requires nursing homes to be responsive and adequate to the needs of its citizens, assure that new health care services and facilities are efficiently and effectively used, continue to meet high quality standards, and assure that all residents receive humane, courteous, and dignified treatment.

It is vital for patients and their loved ones to know these rights by heart to avoid nursing negligence and nursing abuse. This blog has enumerated a lot of nursing negligence readings that could help you in deciding what to do.

Under the law, elderly who are living in nursing homes have the following rights:

1. To be free from verbal, mental and physical abuse; corporal punishment; and involuntary seclusion.
2. To be free from restraints - both chemical and physical - except as authorized in writing by a doctor for a specified and limited time period or when necessary to protect the resident or other residents from injury.
3. To have safe, decent, and clean conditions.
4. To be treated with consideration, respect, and full recognition of dignity and individuality, including privacy in treatment and care of personal needs.
5. To be fully informed by a doctor of his or her medical condition, unless the doctor decides that informing the patient would be against the patient's best interests, and to participate in the planning of medical treatment.
6. To refuse medical treatment as permitted by law and to be informed of the consequences of refusing medical treatment.
7. To refuse to participate in experimental research.
8. To have personal medical records treated in strict confidence.
9. To have established daily visiting hours.
10. To have visitation by an ombudsman, personal physician, family members, and all individuals that provide health, social, legal, or other services who wish to visit.
11. To retain personal possessions and clothing as space permits, so long as doing so would not complicate a medical condition or infringe on another resident's rights.
12. To participate in and meet with social, religious, and community groups.
13. To send and receive personal, unopened mail.
14. To associate and communicate privately with other individuals as desired.
15. To manage personal financial affairs or to delegate that task to another person of the resident's choosing.
16. To be fully informed of available services and related charges.
17. To be encouraged and assisted to exercise rights as a patient and as a citizen and to voice grievances and recommend changes in policies and services to staff members or outside representatives without interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal.
18. Not to be required to perform services for the nursing home that are not included in the resident's plan of care.
19. If married, to be assured of privacy during spousal visits. If both spouses are residents of the nursing home, to be permitted to share a room, if medically feasible.
20. To be transferred or discharged only for medical reasons, or for the resident's own welfare or the welfare of other residents, or for nonpayment (except as prohibited by Medicaid), and to be given reasonable advance notice of transfer or discharge.
21. To be fully informed, as evidenced by a written acknowledgment, prior to or at the time of admission and during the stay, of all these rights and all rules and nursing home regulations that govern personal conduct and responsibilities.

That's it folks, hope this list of rights will help you in deciphering whether your loved one has been deprived of these rights. If you think they have, chances are, youre right. It may seem as though nursing negligence and nursing abuse is very daunting to deal with but you have to look around. Your loved one might just need a nursing negligence attorney.

Nursing Negligence in Hospital or in any nursing home has many faces in the modern society today. Unsatisfactory hygiene is one of the most obvious signs of nursing home neglect by nurses, which can range from unbrushed teeth for long periods already to soiled clothings worn by elderly patients, all the way down to foul smell or patients at any time.

Lack or Inadequacy of hygiene is a horrific form of nursing home negligence, and when something anywhere like this is suspected, chances are, it really is a case of nursing home negligence. Nursing negligence lawsuits is a very serious case which needs immediate action. The pioneering nursing home neglect lawyers were able to open the eye of not only juries, but the public as well to the vast amounts of nursing home neglect in this country.

Nursing home lawsuits are still important today as society begins to demand a higher level of care for a reasonable cost for the nation’s growing elderly population. The baby boomers are beginning to see long term care in their own future, and nobody wants to consider the possibility that they may one day be left in their own urine because they were unable to lift themselves from a wheelchair. Nursing home lawsuits are guided by the steady hand of nursing home neglect lawyers who are able to determine what constitutes nursing home neglect by the letter of the law.

Initially, nursing homes were not held to very high standards, and those who were criminally neglectful were often excused due to the workload combined with the low pay and improper training. It took a few highly skilled nursing negligence lawyers to bring into the limelight the significance of the problem as well as shed light on the devastating impact that these conditions have on the elderly. While of course the advancing ages of judges certainly helped to set the precedence, these first nursing home neglect lawyers were able to brighten the lives of hundreds of nursing home neglect victims as changes were mandated that prohibited this type of shameful punitive action and required that the elderly were kept clean.

The law can make things tricky, or it can work in a victim’s advantage. Nursing home neglect laws state that reasonable care must be given in order to prevent the spread of disease, and the level of cleanliness must be reasonable for the circumstances and to prevent infection, sores, or other unreasonable conditions of living. Defining nursing home neglect down to the basics of the law will typically work for the victim, provided there is evidence. Often when unsanitary conditions are delved out as punishment there is little evidence left behind and can be very hard to prove even with a top notch nursing negligence lawyer.

Nursing home lawsuits can continue to set precedence as well as continue the fight for human rights amongst the elderly. Nursing home lawsuits are pivotal in keeping nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect in the limelight, which in turn improves conditions for all of those who live in any type of long term care facility. Nursing home neglect is far from a new concept, it is only recently that people have taken a strong interest in the way our nation’s elderly are treated inside the facilities they have chosen to rest in.

The importance of being able to detect nursing negligence or nursing abuse is a daunting task especially if youre unsure. If things get down to it, it would be very useful to gather as much information as you can and your best bet would be to contact a nursing home negligence or abuse lawyer. Chances are, your loved one is in a position where only you can help him.

Finding out that your loved one has been under medical or nursing negligence and abuse while in a hospital or a nursing home is quite a ver stressful situation. Knowing that a patient is being abused or neglected in a nursing home is something that no employee should have to witness. However, nursing home negligence and abuse is rising at a very alarming rate.

If you suspect your loved one to be in the position where a case of nursing negligence or a nursing home abuse can be filed, please, do your loved one a favor and report it immediately.

There are state agencies in the country that caters for these cases and several social service agencies in each county office. A nursing negligence complaint can be filed by anyone who witnesses, suspects, or has a true knowledge of nursing home abuse or neglect in any state. The complaint can be filed in regards staffing, treatment, care, safety, neglect, harm (unintentional), or abuse. However, the complaint should only be filed after all attempts of resolving the problem with the facility have been extinguished. The first thing to do is to talk to the facility and see if there is something that can be done to stop the abuse or neglect. If they fail to respond to the problem, then filing a report or a complaint with the state would be the next step.

Once a report or a complaint is filed with the state agency, you may then want to consider hiring a lawyer to help you with your complaint or report. If harm such as pain, suffering, injury, or death resulted to your loved one as a result of the Nursing Home Negligence or abuse, you may have a reasonable lawsuit against the nursing home. A lawyer will be able to help you determine the extent of your case and will be able to answer any questions and concerns you have about the report or the complaint that you filed.

Most complaints can be done in person or in writing. However, the state of North Carolina recommends that you make it in writing and keep a copy of the complaint or the report for your records. When writing your complaint, make sure that it contains the following information: your full name, address, phone number, and relationship to the resident(s) in question. The name and address of the nursing home facility should be included as should the names or descriptions of the involved staff. The date and time of the incident, the details of the event(s), and the records that may need to be examined should also be included in nursing home complaints. Included all information that you have regarding the abuse or negligence. The state of North Carolina will begin the investigation on your report within one to two weeks after it is filed. You may also want to take pictures of your loved one to show the abuse or neglect. Sometimes, it may be hard to prove, but with a few pictures, you have a better chance of proving that the abuse or neglect really did occur.

Nursing Negligence, Bed sore

Bedsore: A Visible sign of Nursing Negligence

Nursing Negligence as we have said in previous posts, is the breach in professional duty of a nurse. It is an act done that in comparison, a prudent nurse would never do under same circumstances.

This may well be observed in acute care setting. You do not see this normally in hospitals except for patients who have been confined for quite for months. This is well evident in nursing homes where long term bed ridden patients are cared for.

When you go and visit a loved one in a nursing home and a nurses aide comes in to attend to your loved one, you noticed a big sore on the side of their leg. When you question it, the nursing aide claims that it is noting but a simple sore. This is where you start to ring the nursing negligence alarm. What you are actually looking at are signs of nursing home negligence on the part of the Nursing Home which your loved one is staying.

A decubitus ulcer is caused by long time pressure on a certain part of the body like bone elongation sites. This can be in a form of a simple red or pink mark on the skin or it can be as bad as a very deep sore that reaches into the bone or internal organ. They are caused by prolonged pressure on a particular part of the body and are seen on elder patients who are bedridden. Most nursing facilities have a policy to turn bedridden patients once every two hours in order to prevent decubitus ulcers from forming. This is a nursing standard that if not kept by the nursing home, will make them be liable to the law.

If your loved one has these decubitus ulcers, then they are not being turned in the bed as often as required and this is a form of neglect in a nursing home. These decubitus ulcers can lead to further complications, including death if not treated. Therefore, if you have seen a decubitus ulcer on your loved one, you should first consult with the doctors and nurses in the facility. If they fail to respond or give you a reasonable answer to why there are decubitus ulcers on your loved one, then you should consider filing a report or a complaint for a complaint.

The decubitus ulcer is often painful. So, your loved one may be in severe pain and unable to express their pain. They may be crying for help, but no one is listening. This is neglect. No one should have to suffer the pain of decubitus ulcers. Simply turning or repositioning your loved one every two hours will prevent these ulcers from forming. They should not be there in the first place, but if you do notice them, you should be informed that your loved one is experiencing some form of neglect in their nursing home. It is true that decubitus ulcers are considered preventable and the development of decubitus ulcers is evidence of some form of neglect. Many paralyzed or terminal individuals with very poor nutrition can be free of these ulcers. This can be accomplished by good patient care.

Nursing negligence, nursing home abuse lawyers

Nursing Abuse and Negligence Blog

One quick post for update on this blog.

I am pleased to announce that a week worth of effort is finally paying off. As I started this blog, I had the goal of starting a niche blog about nursing which is something that im really interested about. I wrote few articles and asked for back links from some of the nursing blogs that are very commendable in their own right.

As a fresh graduate nurse and a web entrepreneur at the same time, I want to get some more insights about getting a blog ranked in the search engines from scratch while offering top notch information for nurses and patients about Nursing Abuse and Nursing Negligence.

I guess it is safe to say that nurses have come long past the era where we are only confined to the a patient's bedside. This profession is growing as we speak and we are here to walk with it.

Keep coming back for more information and articles about nursing abuse and negligence. Till the next post fellas!

Nursing Negligence, Nursing Home abuse, Nursing malpractice
If you're medically inclined, you better know what a DNR means. For patients or special someone's of patients, DNR stands for "Do Not Resuscitate", let nature run its course, or to put it more bluntly, the patient is on his own if this order is given.

If the patient would have a shock, a brain attack or a heart attack after this order has been given, the nurses would not give any medical procedure that could lead to the elderly patient's revival. It may sound strange to some people who are not exposed to the clinical setting a lot but in actuality, one may realize its importance along the way.

This order is generally given to elderly patients who usually reside in a nursing home. These patients who are often neglected and abused, usually have a terminal stage disease or illness and they usually have a 50/50 chance of surviving, that is, if they would ever function fully after they would recover.

You may ask: Who's gonna call the DNR order?

Usually, the patient's family would decide among themselves. Their decision would be guided upon by the doctor's diagnosis of the elderly patient's condition, his chances of survival, and overall prognosis. These factors, among others, are the basis of the family members to decide whether or not to give the Do Not Rescusitate Order.

What is the Ethical Basis of giving a DNR?

Personally, I hate giving ethical comments on issues on my line of work because people would not understand unless they are in someone's position like for instance, the patient who cannot verbally say it but would prefer to die than suffer excruciating pain every single second of their living days, or the family members who are paying massive amount of money every day for keeping a terminally ill elderly patient who's on coma and if given the chance to live, be on a certain vegetative state.

You see, its not a choice of yes or no (I really hope its as simple) but rather a cafeful weighing and sifting of pro's and con's, shades of whites and blacks and everything in between. When it comes down to it, in the clinical setting, I just hope and pray the family is doing the right thing. That's the best I can do for the patient at this time.

That's it for today's post folks. I would like to leave you on a reflective note by asking you the following questions:

What would you have done if you were the nurse? If youre one of the family members? What about if youre the patient?

Related Keywords: DNR orders, nursing home abuse, nursing negligence, nursing malpractice

Elements of a Medical Malpractice

nursing negligence, nursing malpractice
In the last five years, the cases of nursing negligence and malpractices has risen to an alarming rate. This is according to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. We as nurses should be concerned about this rate because as medical professionals, malpractices in nursing and nurse negligence is very much taken into consideration during our lecture discussions and clinicals back in nursing school. The only difference is that working today as a licensed nurse will not give your clinical instructor half the blame because in the fisrt place, youre on your own already.

Nursing malpractice can be generally defined as negligence on the part of a Nurse which causes physical or emotional damage to a patient or client under their care. This includes failure to do appropriate nursing care at a certain time, surgical assisting mistakes, mistakes in delivering of a child (for nurse midwives), mistakes with medications, or causing any loss or injury by not performing professionally. Nursing malpractice is limited to negligence which occurs in the course of medical or health care, and the basic legal issues involved in medical malpractice are the same as the legal elements in common neglect.

There are 4 elements of Nursing Malpractice:

Standards of Care:
This refers to the norms that experience and history implied as the "right thing to do at the right time". In general, its what a reasonably prudent nurse would do in a similar situation and given the same circumstance. An example would be a nurse giving a patient oxygen therapy via face mask when she noticed the O2 saturation was below normal level and there was a doctor's order for such actions to be done.

Nursing Care Plans help nurses define the most commonly encountered clinical problems and its symptoms, then offer guidelines for performing ongoing assessment and therapeutic interventions. Care Plans assist the nurse in the development, deliverance, and documentation of patient care in order to help nurses adhere to the most current practice and professional standards in nursing.

Some nursing malpractice mistakes might be the following:

* Failure to secure an informed consent from a patient prior to a surgical procedure
* Misuse of a medical equipment
* Medication error
* Documentation error
* Failing to perform necessary procedure

The best defense that a nurse could ever have is the patient's chart. Remember the old nursing cliche that goes like "If you didnt chart it, you didnt do it"? This might well be your life saver from a nursing legal lawyer or attorney. So always remember to chart completely.

By accepting the endorsement or referral of a patient from the ER or any other nursing department, the nurse is duty-bound to care for the patient with his or her utmost ability, knowledge and skills. That is pretty well covered in the Good Samaritan law.

Legal Causation:
It is the second major hurdle that must be overcome for a successful malpractice plaintiff. The plaintiff must
establish that had standards of care been follow, the injury or damages to the patient would have been avoided. A legal cause of action for nursing negligence usually exists when it is determined that the breach of the standard of care proximately caused damages, usually physical or emotional in nature to the victim.

And lastly,
This is the result of the substantial neglect or malpractice on the part of the nurse. Patient's lawyers and legal consultation attorneys would capitalize on this element so their clients can get a well deserved settlement claim. This includes: death, disability, prolonged pain, deformity, or added cost of hospital stay.

Nursing Negligence Alabama, Nurse negligence attorney
I Came across this article from the web and its about a Nursing Negligence in Alabama. Its all about a nurse giving a mistaken Dilantin Dose given to a patient which was blamed for the advanced progress of the patient's dementia, added to his damaged brain and causing him to loose control of his balance.

Please take the time to read the article below. My analysis and opinion will be after the article.

Nurse Administers Wrong Dilantin Dose

"Dilantin Toxicity Blamed for Acceleration on Dementia and Damage to Balance"

$1 Million Verdict in Alabama

Standards of Care Breached

Robert Ferguson vs. Baptist Health System d/b/a Baptist Medical Center in Montclair, Jefferson County,Alabama.

The plaintiff, a seventy-seven year-old man, alleged that the staff at the defendant Birmingham hospital overmedicated him with anti-seizure medication so severely in 1999 that his dementia was accelerated, and he suffered additional brain damage and damage to his sense of balance.

He claimed that during a May 26 through June 1, 1999 hospitalization at Baptist Medical Center Montclair, after a fall at his home, he was given more than three times of Dilantin than what his physician prescribed. Robert Ferguson testified that he was able to drive, hunt, fish, and walk on his own prior to the hospitalization. But the overdose left him with severely altered memory, and dependent on a cane and wheelchair.
The defense contended that Ferguson's problems arose from a fall with head and back injuries he suffered before entering the hospital, and denied that the hospital error impacted his pre-existing dementia. During trial, a treating nurse testified that the plaintiff's state of confusion and motor functions fluctuated throughout his stay at the hospital - with identical fluctuation before and after the medication error. The plaintiff had documented signs of dementia before the hospitalization, but claimed the acute overdose quickly worsened the condition.

Testimony indicated the patient was given a daily dose of Dilantin 300 mg from May 21-25, properly as his physician ordered.

However, when he was moved to the hospital's rehabilitation floor on May 26, where he stayed until his discharge on June 1, he was mistakenly given 900 mg of Dilantin daily.
The error happened when the hospital pharmacy filled out Ferguson's chart on the night of May 25 to record that he should receive 300 mg of Dilantin three times a day. The hospital admitted the error, but argued that the error was not sufficient to support the level and extent of damages the plaintiff had claimed. The defense added that no one at the hospital consciously disregarded Ferguson's safety.

The plaintiff alleged the hospital failed to follow safety guidelines, and the staff breached the standards of care in patient care.
When Ferguson was released from care on June 1, in violation of policy, a nurse wrote and signed a prescription indicating that he should continue to receive 900 mg of Dilantin daily while at home. After his return to home, the plaintiff experienced difficulty drinking liquids and staying awake. The medication error was noted by the plaintiff's personal pharmacist when he was asked to refill it.

The plaintiff then returned to the hospital on June 2, at which time physicians determined he had Dilantin toxicity. He was kept for further treatment and observation, and then discharged on June 12. 1999.
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After reading this article, I cannot help but just feel sorry for the plaintiff. Sure, things like this can happen unintentionally but this doesnt give us any minute excuse for the damages this have caused the patient.

The plaintiff together with his nurse negligence attorney, Robert Ferguson, has been granted a settlement for a total of $1,000,000 all in all. He got $200,000 for compensatory damages and $800,000 for punitive damages from the hospital.

The case above shows us that as nurses, we are entitled to hold in our very hands patient's life and with this obligation comes responsibility for the care of these patients. Nursing negligence is not something unavoidable, its something preventable with utmost care and caution being observed at all times.

Nursing negligence
Nursing Negligence and Nursing Malpractice Blog

This is a blog all about Nursing Negligence from a legal and civilian Standpoint. Being a nurse trying to thrive in a competitive nation like the United States, one can never be so sure about trying to finish a shift without fearing a summon is waiting for tomorrow's duty.

My name is Jake Bongayan, RN and im trying to get my hands dirty on the topics of legal proceedings of nursing home laws, nursing malpractice and negligence, attorneys that might be of help whenever a lawsuit comes up, as well as settlements that might come in handy in the future.

Im on my way to working as a nursing home care nurse in California in the near future. But before this, Ive heard a lot of rumors about nurses having problems with lawsuits against them usually because of nursing negligence and nursing malpractice. This is where this blog is all about.

I want to blog everything on this topic so if youll be working (or are currently working in a nursing home or hospital) in United States, Canada or United Kingdom, you will be more aware of the things that might just save you from legal issues.

I very much welcome you, and your friends to join me in my journey in being more informed nurse and be cautioned of nursing negligence and nurse malpractices.

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