Nursing constitutes the biggest health care occupation in the U.S. Their duties include patient care, communicating with doctors, administering medicine and continuously monitoring and evaluating patients’ conditions. Nolo.com states that “Nursing malpractice occurs when a nurse fails to competently perform his or her medical duties and that failure harms the patient. There are a variety of ways that a nurse can harm a patient — from administering the wrong drug to failing to notify a doctor when something is really wrong.”
In Darrell Menapace v. Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County, et. al., a Wyoming jury awarded $10.1M to a patient who lost both legs after his doctor and nurses failed to diagnose a vascular emergency and sent him home. Four days later he was airlifted to a hospital where both his legs were amputated above the knee. Plaintiff’s attorneys argued that the doctor and nurses at Memorial Hospital did not provide adequate care and failed to identify a vascular emergency. The evidence showed that nurses did not read the doctor’s diagnoses and assessments or that of other nurses. Test results showed blockages in the arteries bringing blood to Menapace’s lower legs while the nurses’ care was focused on his diabetes.
The jury assigned 50% of the fault to internal medicine doctor Dr. Lin Miao. Dr. Miao reached a settlement with Mr. Menapace before the trial. Five nurses were named in the lawsuit, and as a result, Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County is responsible for over $4M in damages. In response to the verdict, spencelawyers.com states: “This is an important verdict because it affirms the critical role that nurses play in communication and treatment, and it holds Wyoming medical care providers accountable to act on the signs of medical disasters before they occur.”
One of the most common claims against nurses is failing to recognize or report high risk situations. In medical negligence litigation against hospital nursing staff, nursing expert witnesses are called upon to evaluate medical standards of care. Elite Medical Experts has an extensive record of success in complex nursing litigation. Contact Elite Medical Experts to secure the best expert witness for your case.