Good Samaritan laws for off duty New Jersey RN's. - page 2

by mrsinquisitive 5,475 Views | 17 Comments

Does anyone know..... In the state of NJ, can an off duty RN legally administer benadryl to a stranger that is having an allergic reaction to a bee sting? Also, after all is said and done, could the RN accept a gift that... Read More


  1. 0
    @ nyforlove............ thanks for the advice, i will pass it along. as for the "fishy scenerio" my friend helped this man and had someone call 911. the 1st to respond was a volunteer firefighter that heard the call. he then told my girlfriend that he could not legally give benadryl to the patient, but if she wanted to "borrow" it she could. she assessed him for allergies, medical history and his ability to swallow before giving it to him. shortly after, the ems arrived & brought him to a nearby hospital. concerned with how the man had made out, my girlfriend left her cell # on the windshield of his car asking him to call her & let her know that he was ok. when he called her the next day, he thanked her for saving his life, told her he owned a bed & breakfast & offered her a free weekend for acting selflessly on behalf of a complete stranger. she told him it was unnecessary to offer such a gift.....
    she then later thought about the ramifications of what the situation could have brought.
  2. 0
    http://www.nursefriendly.com/nursing...ses/071899.htm

    Some good info in this article. Actually is a anaphylactic allergic reaction, but the nurse and doctor were manning a first aid station.

    Summary: "Off-duty" healthcare professionals rendering
    Emergency aid are in most cases "covered" by the Good
    Samaritan Acts. These are laws enacted in each state
    that provide some degree of immunity from liability for
    good faith efforts in giving emergency care. In this
    case, a nurse and physician were sued for providing
    assistance in a volunteer function at a "first-aid" station.
    Good Samaritan "immunity" was not recognized by the
    courts.
  3. 0
    Quote from kcochrane
    http://www.nursefriendly.com/nursing...ses/071899.htm

    some good info in this article. actually is a anaphylactic allergic reaction, but the nurse and doctor were manning a first aid station.

    kind of scary..... but thanks for forwarding the story!
  4. 0
    Quote from OCNRN63
    Something seems a little fishy with this scenario.
  5. 0
    I would have never administered a medication given to me by a third party to anyone; I don't care if the Pope handed it to me. If the man was able to give his medical history, state his allergies, had a patent airway and was able to swallow, then there was no real crisis. EMS was on the way; they would have been more than equipped to handle the situation if he'd developed full-blown anaphylaxis. The oral benadryl wouldn't really have had much time to do a whole lot for him if he'd really been in danger. If I'd have been with someone who'd gone into anaphylactic shock and I happened to have an epi-pen on me, I probably would have used it, but otherwise? No way would I ever give a stranger meds. That's stepping outside your scope of practice in several ways.

    And I certainly would never, under any circumstances leave my cell phone number on that stranger's car. The potential for trouble here should be self-evident.
    Last edit by OCNRN63 on Sep 11, '10
  6. 2
    First; Benadryl, Tylenol, Motrin, and other OTC meds don't require prescriptions, and I've made them available to coworkers, friends, etc, always telling them I'm not a doctor and suggesting they see one ASAP.
    Second; the flaw in Good Samaritan laws is that they are passive. They don't protect you from being sued, they just give you a defense to use when you are sued.
    Third; My personal philosophy is to always make priorities of preserving life and minimizing suffering. It's easy to imagine all kinds of scenarios, but 30 years as a medic and Nurse, had I been sued, I'd feel comfortable facing a jury, no matter the scenario, and stand on those 2 priorities.
    mrsinquisitive and kcochrane like this.
  7. 0
    Quote from dthfytr
    first; benadryl, tylenol, motrin, and other otc meds don't require prescriptions, and i've made them available to coworkers, friends, etc, always telling them i'm not a doctor and suggesting they see one asap.
    second; the flaw in good samaritan laws is that they are passive. they don't protect you from being sued, they just give you a defense to use when you are sued.
    third; my personal philosophy is to always make priorities of preserving life and minimizing suffering. it's easy to imagine all kinds of scenarios, but 30 years as a medic and nurse, had i been sued, i'd feel comfortable facing a jury, no matter the scenario, and stand on those 2 priorities.

    thank you for your advice.... & for being so nice about it
  8. 0
    you did a good thing, had you withheld the benadryl and the guy goes into anaphylactic shock, you'd be at fault. Well done
    NOPE!! you would not be responsible for the person going into shock.

    Also, once a gift is accepted the Good Sam law NO LONGER APPLIES!!!! (because you are now being compensated for care)


Top