Nursing Care Claims
We know most health care professionals do not start their working day aiming to cause harm. Sadly, however, we also know that harm can happen to patients due to a single catastrophic mistake or a series of systemic or personal errors.
Medical negligence occurs when a duty of care is breached and causes harm or even death. This includes not only doctors, but others such as nurses. Sadly, many of these cases are highly preventable.
Nurses spend much of their time with patients and their families and therefore are in a position to impact both positively and negatively on patient safety. Nursing care can sometimes fall short and lead to clinical errors.
Falls in the elderly can be devastating, causing fractures which can lead to impairment and even death. While medical conditions such as confusion or hypoglycaemia can predispose patients to falling, simple precautionary nursing measures can protect vulnerable people from coming to harm through falling. For example, regular monitoring, moving personal items so that they are within easy reach and providing nonslip socks.
Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs)
HAIs are infections that are picked up while in hospital or in other health care settings such as nursing homes. The worst cases can lead directly to death. Straightforward good nursing practice can reduce the risk of HAIs running rampant and causing harm. Basic hand hygiene, good wound care, sterile techniques and proper cleaning of medical equipment all contribute to safer patient care.
Medication errors are a significant problem in the NHS. Around 237 million medication errors occur in the NHS in England every year. Of these, avoidable adverse drug reactions contribute to between 2,000 and 22,000 deaths annually. These errors cost the NHS at least £98.5 million each year, although this could be a gross underestimation. Pharmacists, doctors and other health care professionals are all responsible for a wide variety of medication errors.
Nurses are responsible for the majority of medication administrations in a clinical setting. There are lots of reasons why a nurse may cause a medication error: similar drugs names, poor labelling and distraction when giving out medication.
According to the National Diabetes Inpatient audit, ‘2 in every 5 people with diabetes on insulin experience an error related to the administration of the drug while in hospital’.
Medication errors by nurses can also occur in the community. A study of people who received palliative care at home was published in the Palliative Medicine Journal.1 It was found that of 1072 patient safety reports over a five-year period, 613 were related to medication error. Around two thirds of these incidents
caused harm to patients and 129 suffered serious harm, which led to either hospital admission or early death.2
Midwives are highly trained nurses who specialise in providing care to pregnant women and their families, throughout pregnancy and labour and for a time after the baby is born. Midwives are rightly proud of their skills and relative autonomy during clinical practice, but sometimes because of this, it takes some time to pick up when a rogue nurse is working.
Nursing care claims
Like other healthcare professionals, nurses do not go to work to cause harm to the people to whom they are providing care, be it in a birthing suite, a neo natal ward or on the phone to a 999 caller. However, errors do happen and sometimes these errors cause serious harm or even death. If you think that you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing care negligence, then you may be entitled to claim compensation. To find out more, please get in contact with Osbornes Law. We have a team of medical law specialists who will be able to advise you if you have a claim and will guide you through the process.
Our Promise to You
· We will review your potential claim by advising you on the NHS complaints procedure or other alternative procedure if your case does not relate to NHS care and treatment.
· We will not charge a fee for our time in reviewing your case.
· We can assist you with any issues that you may have regarding the complaints procedure or that you encounter in obtaining copies of your medical records.
· We will advise you of the course of action in respect of your case