Common Types of Nurse Errors and Their Implications July 11, 2012.

Unfortunately, thousands of innocent patients die each year due to medical malpractice errors and accidents. While most people typically think of a doctor or surgeon as the culprit, nurse errors also can occur and be just as serious. This type of medical malpractice can harm a patient in many ways and even be fatal. A Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer should be contacted if you suspect negligence.

Types of Nurse Errors

  • Failure to Alert a Doctor of a Problem – Many times a nurse sees patients before the doctor and will interact with them more regularly. If the nurse notices a dangerous issue or an emergency occurs, and the nurse does not tell the attending physician, then the nurse may be held liable for medical malpractice.
  • Improper Medication Dispensing – Administering medication to a patient is probably one of the most common nursing job duties. However, if a nurse makes a mistake and fails to give the patient the correct medication or mixes up the dosage, serious consequences may result.
  • Medical Equipment Accidents – Another common nurse error happens when a piece of medical equipment, such as pair of forceps or hypodermic needles, are not handled properly, causing injury to the patient.

Of course, a doctor can just as easily make these types of mistakes. However, nurses may be more likely to commit medical malpractice because of their close and frequent interactions with patients. If an injured patient decides to pursue legal action with a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer, it is important to understand who can be held liable for nurse errors.

The hospital may be held liable and financially responsible for a medical mistake made by a nurse if he or she was an official employee of the hospital, was on the job when the error occurred, and a doctor was not overseeing the nurse involved.

An attending doctor who oversees the job duties of the nurse also may be held liable for nurse errors, depending on whether or not he or she was aware of the nurse’s mistake and was able to prevent it.

All of these causes of malpractice may be attributed to long hours and understaffing, an issue many hospitals deal with. While different parties may be held liable, it will not change the fact that the injured patient is able to file a claim with a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer. The liability issue simply will determine who will have to pay in a settlement.

To determine how much compensation you can receive in a medical malpractice claim, certain things will be taken into consideration:

  • the economic amount of damages you have suffered, including lost income and medical expenses;
  • the emotional pain and suffering you encountered as a result of the accident; and
  • any punitive damages that may be levied against the healthcare professional who committed the medical malpractice or nurse errors.

If you have reason to believe a nurse or other healthcare professional made a mistake in your medical treatment, causing you to become sick or injured, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim. A Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer can help you start this process by examining the details of your case in a free consultation.