Taking care of pregnant women during delivery, labor, and post-delivery can be complex, and obstetric nurses must juggle many tasks. Some mistakes can’t be avoided, but when a nurse makes a mistake that never should have happened, it means the standard duty of care they are obligated to uphold was not well adhered to.
Complications such as preeclampsia, infections, miscarriage, birth injuries, and death can arise if a nurse fails to perform her job duties as expected. If a baby is harmed due to a nurse’s negligence, the nurse may be liable, or the medical facility may also be liable for issues like short staff, long hours, and faulty equipment.
As a patient, if you suffer harm resulting from a nurse’s error, you can sue for malpractice. Malpractice law shields you from the negative effects of the error. Below are some of the instances that warrant to sue for malpractice.
Improper Medical Administration
The issue of wrong medication commonly occurs in the line of work of nurses. Some of the contributing factors include high alert medication like insulin, a high-pressure environment, and poor judgment. The standard practice dictates that medication should be administered in the right dose, at the right time, for the right reason, using the right mode, and accompanying documentation.
Malpractice can occur if the OB nurse fails to check medication labels, violates medication protocols, or disregards a patient’s allergy profile, among other reasons. If you’ve been the victim of these violations either through allergic reactions or complications, you’re within your rights to sue an OB nurse.
Failure to Get Informed Consent
Whenever you have any medical procedure, the doctor or medical facility is obligated to get your informed consent before treatment. They must go through a process of explaining your options and any potential effects of the treatments and make sure you understand what could happen if you agree to treatment.
It may be the nurse’s duty to get informed consent from the patient. If the nurse does not, the patient may end up subjected to complications from a procedure they never would have agreed to had they known the true dangers.
The proper administration of informed consent and the eventual success of medical procedures are intertwined. If the procedure or medication fails, it potentially amounts to medical negligence. Medical personnel negligence might dramatically increase your child’s chances of developing birth injuries.
Poor Communication to Midwife or the Doctor
Communication is vital in relying on progress, warning signs, and presenting important data to caregivers and doctors. Poor or failed communication is attributable to a patient having positive progress, infant deaths, complications, or birth injuries. In all communications, OB nurses must:
• Pass on necessary information in a professional manner
• Try to build consensus with the caregivers
• Practice active listening
• Find ways to communicate emergency data
When a nurse fails to communicate accurate or urgent information to doctors, a patient’s care could be compromised, sometimes seriously.
Poor Use of Medical Equipment
Giving care to patients involves machines and equipment that offer scientific insights about a patient’s condition and progress. Some of the equipment includes pulse oximeters, otoscopes, stethoscopes, and thermometers.
It’s the nurses’ responsibility to interpret the data from the machinery correctly and ensure they are functioning properly. There can be other errors due to poor training on a machine’s usage, failure to notice maintenance needs, or general malfunction. Birth complications, infant deaths, and other negative consequences are attributable to poor use of medical equipment.
Failure to Keenly Observe the Patient
Pregnant women are very vulnerable before, during, and after delivery. An OB nurse’s role is crucial to ensure that mother and baby are healthy. The nurse should always be on high alert to offer needed medication, and observe vitals, any poor symptoms, or side effects from any treatment.
A nurse’s failure to dutifully perform this role can lead to negative health effects, which is a solid base for being charged. Malpractice law requires medical professionals like OB nurses to treat patients within the standard duty of care. A deviation like poor communication, faulty equipment, or incompetent consent can lead to a tragic mistake that can never be taken back.