Common Medical Malpractice Suits Involving Nurse Practitioners

By Norman Younker on December 02, 2019


Nurse bandaging an injured handMedical professionals must abide by what is known as a reasonable standard of care. Essentially, this means that patients should expect their treating physician to provide the same level of care that would be provided by another similarly trained physician.

If standard of care is not met, a medical malpractice attorney can file a suit to seek compensation for the client’s injuries and damages. A lawsuit can be filed against any medical professional who failed to meet standard of care. Here, the Salt Lake City, UT, attorneys of Younker Hyde Macfarlane discuss common medical malpractice suits involving nurse practitioners.

Failure to Diagnose

Failure to diagnose is one of the most common types of medical malpractice lawsuits involving nurse practitioners. The way that the health care system is set up, many patients see a nurse practitioner before seeing a doctor. If a nurse practitioner does not order additional testing or recommend a visit with a specialist, the patient may not see a doctor at all.

In these situations, the patient is completely reliant on the nurse practitioner to make a timely and proper medical diagnosis. If a nurse practitioner fails to make a diagnosis that would have been made by another similarly trained nurse practitioner, and the patient gets worse because of it, the nurse practitioner can be held liable for resulting damages.

Medication Errors

Medication errors account for a significant amount of medical malpractice cases at our Salt Lake City practice. Nurse practitioners are often involved in administering and prescribing medication, so it is not unusual for them to be involved in medical malpractice suits related to medication errors. Common medication errors include administering the wrong amount of medication, administering incorrect medication, and administering or prescribing medications that have adverse reactions to other prescribed medications. Medication errors can lead to illness, infection, and other medical complications.

Pain Management

Pain management and opioid abuse are a growing concern in our country. It is coming to light that medical professionals may be responsible for some of these cases of addiction. Many patients have been prescribed narcotic pain medication that exceeds a reasonable limit, even when the patient is showing clear signs of addiction. Since pain management often falls in the hands of nurse practitioners, it is common for them to be involved in medical malpractice cases involving poor pain management practices.

Failure to Treat

Nurse practitioners handle many of the same duties as doctors and are often solely responsible for a patient’s treatment plan. If a nurse practitioner fails to order proper treatment or neglects proper treatment protocols, the patient may suffer unnecessary injuries and damages. Unfortunately, medical malpractice cases related to failure to treat are fairly common, and they often involve nurse practitioners.

Schedule a Consultation

If you believe that you have been a victim of medical malpractice, it is important to discuss your concerns with a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney. To schedule a free consultation with the attorneys at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, call us in Salt Lake City at (801) 335-7025 at your earliest convenience.

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