Get help now

Negligence and Malpractice in Nursing

Nursing · Dec 1, 2020

Seema Madhavan

Seema MadhavanCase Manager

What is nursing malpractice?

A medical malpractice committed by a nurse is the same as any other case of malpractice, where there is an omission of care or injury to the patient. To qualify as a medical malpractice case, there should be evidence of failure to adhere to a standard clinical practice that resulted in harm to you or your loved one. This harm could have been averted by another competent nurse under similar circumstances.   

Nurses perform a vital role in patient care, monitoring, and recovery. Even a trivial mistake like miscommunication with a physician or missing out on information in medical reports can become a reason for your suffering.

Some examples of nursing negligence include:

  • Inadequate patient assessment

  • Inappropriate nursing intervention or care

  • Delivering an incorrect or wrong dose of medication

  • Inaccurate order interpretation

  • Inadequate infection control

  • Improper use of equipment

Nursing Malpractice Statistics

According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, most of the time, nurses are independently responsible for the malpractice claims (77%). About 7,000 (6%) of all malpractice payments after a judgment or settlement were made in the past 10 years (2010-2020).

An average of 200M dollars was paid for these malpractice payments each year. This included registered, practical, paraprofessional, and advanced nurse practitioners. For the patient outcomes from these claims, about one-third of them resulted in deaths, one-fourth as significant/major permanent injury, and one-eighth in minor/insignificant temporary injury.

Reported cases of negligence occurred in:

  • Inpatient and outpatient care in hospitals (60%). 

  • Nursing home and rehabilitation facilities (18%)

  • Advanced practice nurses (nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists) (9%).

  • Psychiatric facilities (8%)

  • Nurses working under independent practice settings of physicians (2%)

  • Home health agencies (2%)

Among the allegations in nursing negligence, the three main categories that may lead to a malpractice lawsuit are problems relating to:

  • Failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis (41%)

  • Delay in treatment (31%)

  • Medication errors or wrong orders (13%). 

Others arise from:

  • Surgery, obstetrics related, improper monitoring, and environmental safety (15%).

Did you, or someone you love, suffer from a medical mistake? We can help.

Fill the form below and we'll find you the right attorney.