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When a Nurse Can Be Liable for Medical Malpractice


Patients who are harmed while in the care of a health care provider generally have a claim for medical malpractice arising from the health care provider’s negligent act or omission. Doctors are not the only professionals potentially liable for medical malpractice however. Nurses who provide care to a patient may also be liable for malpractice when they fail to provide proper care, or if the care they provide falls below established standards under the law.

Common Causes of Nursing Malpractice

Nurses are often held liable for malpractice due to their failure to adhere to a standard of clinical practice that directly harms or injures their patients. Other cases of malpractice can arise from:

  • Problems in monitoring, treatment, medication, obstetrics, surgery, and in diagnosis and treatment
  • Failure to communicate adequate information to the physician
  • Medication errors
  • Inadequate infection control
  • Inadequate patient assessment
  • Unsafe or improper use of equipment

Common Nursing Malpractice Injuries

Sepsis and Infection

Patients who undergo surgical procedures are susceptible to post-surgical infections at the site of the incision and other parts of the body. A 2010 study of the Archives of Internal Medicine indicated that an estimated 48,000 persons die each year as a result to post-surgical infections. Patients with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of developing sepsis — a dangerous condition that can cause low blood pressure, organ failure, and even death.

Pain at Injection Site

Improper insertion of IV needles and injection needles can lead to swelling and severe pain at the injection site as well as nerve injury.

Importance of a Medical Malpractice Attorney

The Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) Chapter 41A requires the attachment of an affidavit of merit executed by a medical expert in the same or substantially similar field as the nurse or health care provider being sued. In the affidavit of merit, the medical expert must explain how the negligence or fault of the nurse caused the harm or injury to the plaintiff.

Medical negligence is presumed in certain cases which may excuse the absence of an affidavit of merit. These instances include a fire or explosion originating from substances used in the treatment of a patient, leaving behind a foreign substance within the body of a patient following surgery, and an unintended burn in the course of medical care.

Due to the strict requirements for establishing the cause of harm in medical negligence cases, engaging an experienced Las Vegas medical malpractice attorney is highly recommended.

In Las Vegas, Nevada, the law firm of Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen has years of experience in medical malpractice, helping clients recover the maximum compensation that they are legally entitled.

We welcome your call to us today at (702) 505-8115 to arrange to speak to one of our attorneys in a free initial consultation.

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