Consent for procedure

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    Hello- I'm a relatively new nurse in an ICU in the midwest, and have limited knowledge regarding consent for procedures. I realize that these probably vary from state to state and facility to facility, but long story short:

    There is a patient here with a lovenox-induced abdominal hematoma, the size of a fetus, which is probably abcessed. A surgeon on the case wants to drain it. I'm having trouble obtaining consent from family as they cannot be reached. A pulmonologist on the case stated that 2 doctors could sign the consent in lieu of family if they could not be reached.

    My question refers to the following: One of the senior nurses on the unit told me that a nurse would be crazy to sign as witness to consent for said procedure, the reason being that it is not emergent and that it had been there for two weeks. I'd say a patient with cellulitis, a Hx of MRSA and a hematoma the size of a fetus that is probably abcessed, could become emergent.

    Why would witnessing consent for this procedure be dangerous to licensure?
    Last edit by PlatinolypusRN on Jan 5, '11
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