Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, but when nurses make mistakes in the day-to-day care of patients they could result in serious health conditions. Preventable errors in a medical setting are more common and more harmful than you may think.
Medication errors can involve giving a patient the wrong medication, giving them an incorrect medication dose or failing to administer the correct medication. Each of these can result in serious harm, and medication errors harm more than one million people every year. If a patient does not receive the correct amount of medication, that medication will not do its job. Worse, receiving too much medication or the wrong medication can create new side effects.
Improper sanitation and hygiene
Every piece of equipment used in a medical facility – from thermometers to scalpels – needs to be cared for properly so that bacteria, viruses and environmental contaminants do not put patients’ health in jeopardy. This is especially true in surgical settings, where improperly sanitized equipment can result in severe infections.
Improper wound care can also result in infections. Just as the equipment used in a hospital setting must be sanitary, wounds under the care of a nurse need to be cleaned properly in order to prevent infections.
Hospitals rely on teamwork, and proper documentation ensures that each medical professional has all the information that they need. Preventing many errors can be as simple as writing clearly and making timely updates to patient charts. When a patient’s chart not up-to-date and clear, it can result in double-doses of medication, failure to communicate important symptoms and even confusion about which medication they need.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a nurse’s mistake, speak to an attorney about your experience. You may be able to receive compensation to assist in recovery and hold medical professionals responsible for their actions, preventing others from experiencing the same harm.