Nurse, hospital sued in baby's death - page 3

This just made it to the news here in the Atalnta area. Very scary. Nurse, hospital sued in baby's death A new nurse who flunked her board exams was left unsupervised at Atlanta Medical... Read More

  1. by   wooh
    What bothers me is the paper kept referring to her as an "unlicensed nurse." She wasn't a nurse. She didn't have a license.
  2. by   imenid37
    I love the journalism. The word "flunked" is very derogatory. There is probably a great deal more to this story than we will ever know. Sounds like the preceptor didn't supervise her orientee BUT was the preceptor also in charge, had other patients, in the OR for a c/s, etc.? This should not happen, but we all know it does in many places all of the time. Tenet w/ their reputation is quite likely to have had a poor staffing arrangement in effect. It may not have been well-documented what the orientee did. It doesn't mean there were not other interventions or communications. There could have been poor documentation which made the care given look even worse.We don't know. The lawyers may well have some friends at the newspaper who paint the worse pic possible. There will be a HUGE award or settlement in this case no doubt. Always the possiblity too that the hospital wants to nail the nursing staff to save their own rear end and save face. These doctors that did everything right...where were they when things weren't going well? In the OR, at their office? In house? As I said we wil never know. So sad for ALL involved.
  3. by   AmyORlpn
    as a student, this makes me a little nervous. i feel really bad for all folks involved here. i don't even want to make an assumption of who is in the wrong (or if anybody at all was in the "wrong"), because i wasn't there, but someone should be held responsible for this little precious life that was lost.

    i'm new to this site and i love it. i really appreciate reading the advise and words of the experienced folks here on this site. you guys rock!!!!
    (this site makes me want to dance,like

    lpn student in oregon
  4. by   thea11
    It is extremely sad that this new nurse is being blamed for such a tragic event and that her name was mentioned in the newspaper. I live in Georgia and worked at this facility for more than a decade. Nurse must rally together and demand that hospital administrators take the necessary steps to provide adequate training, staffing, etc, so that events like these never happen again.
  5. by   kukukajoo
    I smell a big spin on this one. It says she got her license days after the incident, so maybe she had already re-taken and passed- we just don't know that.

    Also the story alludes that she did indeed have contact with the doctors but failed to mention the falling heartrate. How do we know this is true that she failed to mention it? Not saying the doc would lie to cover his own butt, but it sure has happened before.......
  6. by   imenid37
    If it was not documented that physicians were informed, then even if they were, they might "forget" very easily. In cases like this everyone wants an "out." I am not saying this is what happened. I am saying it could have happened because I know of circumstances where it has happened. The staff may be so overwhelmed by what they are doing for the patient, they are not doing the documentation they need to. Really no one will ever fully know what happened here, except the parties involved. Litigation can become a survival game of he said, she said very easily.

    I had a patient a number of years ago who had some complications. Apparently, her physician told her I had never called him. This was not true. Fortunately, it was well-documented that he had been given several "updates" about this patient's condition. The patient came into deliver baby #2. She told me that she recognized me from last time and I told her that I remembered her. She said she wanted to read her chart. She asked me if I would be upset if she did. Her attending dr. (a different person from delivery #1) let her see the old chart. The patient made a point to tell me that she had been upset w/ me about delivery #1 because her dr. told her I did not keep him informed about what was going on. She then told me she was glad that she read the chart. She said she felt bad that she had been angry w/ me when in fact, he was the one not responding to her situation. She had switched drs. because she was unhappy w/ other things involving this particular physician. This pt. was very upset for several years between pregnancies. I can guarantee you that she would have sued us if there had been a bad outcome.
  7. by   wooh
    she did indeed have contact with the doctors but failed to mention the falling heartrate.
    Good point, I can very well see a new nurse getting behind on documentation. Experience is one of the things that teaches you how to CYA in documentation.
  8. by   thea11
    Unfortunately, the medical profession instead of approaching care in a collaborative fashion is forever pointing the finger when something goes wrong. In this instance the crux of the matter should not have been on whom to blame but how to fix the "processes" so that events like these do not happen ever again.
  9. by   RYNOBLASTER30
    HCA system stinks. Oh, I forgot, that's all systems.
    Last edit by sirI on Jan 5, '07 : Reason: TOS
  10. by   deehaverrn
    the thing is anyone can sue for anything, our legal system doesn't pre-qualify a suit for whether it has merit, we were recently sued by a patient who presented with an abruption and was operated on within 20 minutes, she and her baby survived and the baby "might" have learning disabilities (she's only 4) we did everything right but had to go through the whole court thing, luckily we prevailed although her shyster lawyer is talking you can't believe everything that the lawyer claims
    and yes some doctors will deny that they knew of problems to protect themself, i think for one thing, they believe that they aren't hurting the nurse since she is usually not going to be held personally liable for damages and the hospital's insurance will be, they don't want the fault to affect their ability to continue to practice
    As for central monitoring, we have it, but I have often been in situations where I am scrambling to turn epiduralized patients and increase their ivs and put on O2, and everything else..and despite an alarming system NOONE comes until I call for them! I've also been precepting new employees while having my own assignment which kept me occupied and my hospitals system has a glitch where we can't see it from inside other if i was doing an epidural in one room i would have no idea what was happening in another, I once told my charge nurse that one of my patients was delivering while the other was about to get an epidural so the anesthesiologist would need assistance..and later learned that no one had picked up that patient and that the doc had given her the anesthetic without an RN present,...luckily nothing went wrong..., also I have been in charge while also having our ob emergency eval.(5 pts with r/o labor, ptl etc) and being responsible for all immediate newborn care at delivery..including resuscitation if needed, being in a delivery meant not being able to even see the strips of any of the patients in our eval area ..then docs would get angry that they were calling the eval phone and I wasn't picking up, or once when I was doing a preterm labor workup and starting Mag sulfate on her, someone precipitously delivered and despite the fact that I had told another nurse to help when and if that patient delivered since i had done almost all her work for her and her induction was only 2 cms..the nurse with the delivery complained to the nurse manager that I hadn't assisted her!!! Which is one of the reasons why I don't take charge anymore. The 2 hour thing seems really blown out of proportion, although I think 1 hour might not, if they are set up like us, spread out over a whole hospital in different wings..the nurse might have been transferrig a patient to postpartum and having to stop at NICU first which would make the whole process take about an hour...lets face it, we are UNDERSTAFFED and UNSAFE!!! Despite my being on light duty restrictions and not able to lift or move patients, my manager wanted me to be assigned to precept completely new nurses with labor patients, she couldn't understand my refusal since "they will be right there to do any manual lifting"...I ddn't think it was a safe thing for me, since obviously if they panicked or we needed to move fast..i would be liable to hurt myself in an effort to protect the patient...