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Editors Note: The urls to these cases are Permanent and Will Not Change. Feel free to link to any case you feel is helpful. We've been contacted by several schools who are using them as assignments for their nursing students, feel free to do the same. To host any of our cases on your website or reproduce them in your publications, please contact Andrew Lopez, RN.

Each case will be reviewed and supplemented with clinical and legal resources from the web. Legal Nurse Consultants and Nursing professionals are welcome to submit relevant articles. Please contact us if you'd like to reproduce our material. If you have related materials and would like us to link to or use them as resources, kindly contact us.

We are pleased to welcome Amanda Trujillo, MSN, RN as a guest Author of the series :) Please visit her blog.

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Current Cases:

CPR Against, Facility Policy. Nurse Let Patient Die?:"You’ve spent the better part of a year trying to find a job as a new nurse. Compounding your efforts is the fact you are early into your first pregnancy. Exasperated, you decide to start applying out of state in hopes of broadening your prospects and are thrilled when a beautifully updated independent living facility offers you a job. Your husband, an electrical engineer who graduated from the local state university with you a year ago has been having a tough time finding a job as well— so he is more than happy to help pack up the apartment and hit the road. It seems that brighter days are ahead for both of you. Surely he will find a job in California. For now, you will be the breadwinner and will be able set aside some money in anticipation of the baby that is due in another six months."


Hospital Falls Are Not Always the Healthcare Provider's Fault, Or Are They? by Amanda Trujillo, MSN, RN:"In April of 2005 Mr. William Delk was a patient at Reid Hospital in Indiana when he fell while seated on a rolling commode in the bathroom. Mr. Delk had recently been a victim of a stroke that left him with complete left sided hemiparesis. He had been readmitted with complications associated with the stroke that were described as "a headache and numbness on the left side of his body." (Tammelleo, 2011) According to the case notes William was a rather large man and coupled with the injury from the stroke he was difficult to move. There were usually two to three people recruited to help move him."


Nurses Followed Dr.'s DNR Order On Patient, Confusion about Advanced Directives:"Summary: A nurse advised the CNA to stop CPR on a patient who had a DNR order in place, the family objected and filed a malpractice suit against the hospital, physician, and nurse involved in the case."



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Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession:"Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession was started in 1992 and has been published monthly ever since. Originally it was called Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for Nursing Management, then changed to Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession. The readers of Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession are busy professionals in clinical nursing, nursing management, healthcare quality assurance and healthcare risk management. The newsletter focuses on nurses' professional negligence, employment, discrimination and licensing issues."


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Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession:"Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession was started in 1992 and has been published monthly ever since. Originally it was called Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for Nursing Management, then changed to Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession. The readers of Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession are busy professionals in clinical nursing, nursing management, healthcare quality assurance and healthcare risk management. The newsletter focuses on nurses' professional negligence, employment, discrimination and licensing issues."


Using Case Study Methodology in Nursing Research by Donna M. Zucker:"The purpose of this paper is to illustrate a research method that may contribute a unique and valuable method of eliciting phenomena of interest to nursing. Case study method can be used as a creative alternative to traditional approaches to description, emphasizing the patient's perspective as central to the process. This manuscript will define case study method, and discuss various case study designs. Approaches and tactics from a variety of disciplines, and theoretical or philosophical perspectives are discussed with an emphasis on method and analysis. The bulk of the manuscript outlines the stages used in a case study of men with chronic coronary heart disease (CHD), as well as presenting a case study protocol. Implications for its usefulness in nursing research, practice, and theory generation are discussed."

A Nursing Primer On The Law: Being Named In A Lawsuit, by Joe A. Flores, JD, FNP, MSN, CCRN, Malenursemagazine:"Being named in a lawsuit can be an extremely stressful event for any nurse. The litigation process can cause devastating damage to a nurse's self-concept and to the nurse's practice. In the past suing the hospital and the doctor were generally the usual manner to obtain relief for someone bringing a lawsuit. However, now more than ever, the new order in the health care arena has made the nurse an integral part of delivering care to patients. The nurse has been delegated more responsibility and is also more accountability for the actions of licensed and unlicensed staff. This role has provided for increased autonomy as well as increased accountability. To make matters more complicated, the nursing shortage and limited resources have been a factor in nurses being increasingly involved in medical malpractice lawsuits."

Nursing Malpractice: Protect Yourself. What to do when you’re the subject of a board of nursing complaint. American Journal of Nursing:"Q. I’ve just learned that a complaint against me has been filed with my state board of nursing. What should I expect? A. Complaints to a state board of nursing (BON) can be initiated by other health care providers, patients and their family members, and health care institutions. Once a complaint is lodged, an investigator—who may or may not be a nurse—is sent to the site to gather information about the incident. BON investigators can obtain and review medical records, drug logs, personnel records, and incident reports, as well as take depositions or call in potential witnesses for questioning. If the case concerns drug abuse or another matter pertaining to one’s physical fitness to practice, most states also have the right to ask you to have a physical examination conducted by your health care provider."
Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins toll-free at 1-800-627-0484

Nursing Malpractice: Implications for Clinical Practice and Nursing Education Janet Pitts Beckmann, Ph.D., R.N., Galen Press:"Protect yourself by reading this book! The increasing number of nursing malpractice cases is affecting clinical practice and nursing education. After describing a typical malpractice suit, the author details sixty actual cases, each categorized by the underlying cause of the malpractice, such as medication administration and equipment use. Also provides recommendations for reducing the occurrence of malpractice and improving nursing education."
Galen Press, Ltd.
P.O. Box 64400-WB Tucson, AZ 85728-4400 USA
Call toll-free: 1-800-442-5369 (1-800-4-GALEN-9) Fax: (520) 529-6459 Tel: (520) 577-8363

Nursing Malpractice by Patricia W. Iyer (Editor),"A reference for attorneys and claims adjustors investigating a nursing malpractice claim. Covers the spectrum of the nursing process, from patient admittance to lawsuit, reveals typical ways in which nurses try to cover up their mistakes, and shows how nurses are caught in difficult positions between insurance company lawyers and hospital procedures. Details the defendant nurse's daily routine, whether as a surgical nurse or nurse-supervisor in a nursing home setting. Material is in sections on nursing practice and documentation; common areas of nursing liability, such as pediatric, emergency, critical care, and psychiatric nursing; and litigation of nursing malpractice claims. Specific topics include trial consulting, the role of the forensic economist in nursing malpractice actions, and today's health care environment. Includes a drug and chemical name index. Iyer is a legal nurse consultant and a medical surgical nurse expert witness.Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR --This text refers to the Hardcover edition."

Nursing Malpractice: What You Should Know, By Jennifer Larson,"If you think that the worst thing that could happen in a hospital is the accidental death or injury of a patient, you’re right. But sometimes sentinel events are followed by another dreaded event: a lawsuit. Do you know what you need to know to protect yourself from being sued for malpractice? Are you prepared in the event that you receive a letter from a patient’s attorney? Joe Flores, a nurse practitioner and practicing attorney, recommends that new nurses educate themselves as soon as they start their first nursing job. “I would strongly recommend that a nurse determine what the policies and procedures are at her individual facility and determine what type of preceptor program is in place,” said Flores, who works for a law firm in Corpus Christi, Texas."
12400 High Bluff Drive San Diego, CA 92130
Phone: (877) 585-5010 Fax: (866) 732-4535

Nursing Malpractice Liability and Risk Management, By Charles C. Sharpe:"Students and professional nurses at any level of clinical practice will find this book to be a vital resource on the basic legal concepts and principles of malpractice, liability, and risk management, and their implications for the profession. The book also provides detailed strategies for dealing with these issues. The content is also highly relevant to practitioners in all other health care and legal disciplines that collaborate in the delivery of health care. Issues discussed include the expanding and evolving roles for professional nurses and the concomitant legal accountability and risk for liability, the increasing incidence of nurses named as defendants in malpractice lawsuits, anticipated changes in our health care delivery system, and breakthroughs in science and technology that will present new legal questions. The book also includes material on other important facets of today's nursing practice, including the growing phenomenon of tele-nursing, the essentials of malpractice insurance, and the legal significance of documentation and patients' medical records. It helps the reader identify the nurse at risk for a malpractice suit and the characteristics of the patient likely to sue. The appendices provide information on state laws concerned with access to medical records, a list of useful websites, a list of state boards of nursing, and a glossary of important terms."

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Created on Saturday May 23, 1999

Last updated by Andrew Lopez, RN on January 13, 2023

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