I'm increasingly finding issues with consents for surgical procedures and while talking to our surgical services director and occassionally the hospital risk manager has addressed specific issues, I ran across a an issue that is less focused on the legality of the consent itself but the disregard for the legal concerns for basically even bothering with it to begin with. I had a consent that was not signed by the physician, anesthesia wanting to go to the room without waiting - what else is new - I went to get the physician to sign and while gone, anesthesia bringing the patient anyway. I ended up meeting them in the hall before getting to the OR and the doc signed it. However, after getting into the OR and the pt was asleep, the anesthesiologist made the comment to me that in the US no anesthesiologist has ever ended up in court over a consent, he'd been checking on the net and it just hasn't happened...yet. Of course, I'm thinking about it a sec and say that's all well and good for you but what are the stats on RNs and consents in lawsuits, how frequently does that happen. His reply was that he didn't know if that ever happens or not, he hasn't looked for it and it doesnt' affect him. So, not that I'm looking for a way around a consent, by far! I've been surfing and looking for some information on the topic and am just not finding anything yet and thought perhaps the collection of wisdom here might have some assistance to offer.
I'll be talking to my director and supervisor about the problem. It's an ongoing issue and I'm hearing more and more talk in the halls from anesthesia wanting to just bring the patient to the room regardless of what anyone says and to H3!! with what anyone else says. I'm also seeing more and more instances of where they are pushing the line and unless pushed back, HARD, it's going to start happening.
Jan 28, '07
I'd definitely be going to the supervisor about it. That MDA needs straightened out. Just because he hasn't found anything on the 'net doesn't mean it doesn't exist.