As health care costs rise, larger and larger percentages of patients’ medical care may be provided by nurses and nurse practitioners. While most of us may think of medical malpractice claims as being lodged against doctors alone, the individual responsible for your injuries after a medical error may in fact be a nurse. According to a recent report, malpractice claims against nurses are becoming increasingly common.
The report, released by the Nurses Service Organization, looked at malpractice claims filed against licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses, and registered nurses over a five-year period. The organization found that $90 million had been paid out for malpractice claims against nurses during this five-year period, across 10,639 reported incidents of malpractice during that time. The report noted that nurses who had been trained outside of the U.S. had more malpractice claims filed against them than U.S.-trained nurses, and that around 85% of the nurses targeted by malpractice claims had been practicing nursing for 16 or more years. That said, nurses who had only been practicing for between three and five years were the subject of higher-value claims, on average, than more seasoned nurses.
Around 45% of these claims against nurses were filed after a patient died, often with claimants asserting that the patient’s illness was not expected to be fatal. The most common claim alleged was that the quality of care the patient received was substandard. The second-most common claim was that the nurse failed to completely and appropriately assess the patient, resulting in important medical history being left out of a patient’s file, or failure to identify the need for medical intervention in a particular patient’s case.
If you or someone you love has been injured by an instance of medical malpractice, ensure that you receive the compensation you need to afford your medical expenses, rehabilitation and lost work by contacting the skilled and compassionate Lexington medical malpractice attorneys at the offices of O’Brien Batten Kirtley & Coomer, PLLC for a consultation on your claims, at 859-317-2056.