In hospitals throughout the United States, nurses do a wonderful job of caring for a variety of patients. However, while nurses are highly respected for their work, the fact is nurses make many mistakes on the job each day. Whether it is giving a patient the wrong medication, administering an incorrect dosage of medicine, or failing to follow proper procedures as specified in the standard of care they are expected to give patients, many nursing mistakes often lead to life-threatening conditions or even death.

A Growing Problem
At hospitals in Illinois and across the United States, nursing errors are occurring at a very high rate. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, almost 15 percent of Medicare patients experience serious health consequences due to medical errors and hospital infections, with 180,000 patients dying each year from these incidents. Along with these statistics, it has also been reported by the National Practitioner Database that 15,000 nurses and nurse practitioners have been reported for malpractice.

Why Errors Occur
According to the National Nurses Association, the majority of these errors occur due to hospitals being understaffed with the necessary number of nurses, having nurses work mandatory overtime after completing already long shifts, and failure of doctors to provide instructions on charts that are clear and easy to understand. However, no matter the reason for an error, the fact is it can lead to devastating consequences for a patient and their family. Therefore, no matter the excuse given by a nurse and the hospital, it is important for patients and families to gain the compensation they deserve for their injuries.

Pediatric Errors
While nursing errors can occur with patients of any age, far more occur with newborns and young children than with adults. In many cases, nursing malpractice happens during the course of prenatal care, when a woman is in labor and delivers a baby, or when caring for children in a pediatric unit of a hospital. From administering the wrong medication to committing errors in delivering a baby, these errors often lead to such problems as birth defects or deaths.

Determining Negligence
When a nursing error has been made on a patient, it is important the attorney who is working the case have an understanding of the many complexities involved in proving medical negligence and nursing malpractice. To begin with, vast numbers of medical records will need to be collected and closely reviewed by medical professionals, who will often act as expert witnesses and provide testimony for the plaintiff during a trial. Along with this, numerous people will need to be interviewed to determine their version of events leading up to the medical error. Due to the many legal issues associated with these cases, always put your trust in an attorney who has a successful track record of winning these cases for their clients.

Other Parties and Liability
Along with the nurse who committed the medical error, other parties involved in the patient’s care may also be liable for damages. For example, since a nurse is considered a hospital employee, the hospital itself may also be held liable in the case. Along with this, doctors, medical technicians, records clerks, and others who may have contributed to the negligence and carelessness that resulted in nursing malpractice may also be liable for injuries or deaths of patients. To determine liability of these and other parties, an attorney will not only need to review medical records and gather witness testimony, but also closely examine many aspects of the hospital’s policies and procedures concerning the recognized standard of care expected of nurses.

Seeking Compensation
For a patient and their family, seeking financial compensation will be extremely important following these incidents. While no amount of money can ever change what occurred or bring back a loved one who died due to the error, the fact remains patients and families deserve compensation. For patients who were severely injured due to nursing malpractice, gaining compensation for current and future medical care will be critical, as will compensation for lost wages if the patient cannot return to their job. Finally, compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering will also be sought, since these situations are always life-altering in numerous ways.

Consult with an Attorney
If you or a loved one have suffered needlessly due to the error made by a nurse who was expected to provide the highest levels of care, schedule a consultation with the Zayed Law Offices as soon as possible. In these situations, time is of the essence, since records can get misplaced or accidentally destroyed, witness memories can fade, and much more. Thus, by consulting with Zayed Law Offices soon after the malpractice happened, you will stand a much better chance of gaining the compensation you need and deserve.