Nursing Assessment

1391 Words Mar 15th, 2011 6 Pages
Physician Dismisses Nursing Assessments, Question of Nurse Advocacy.

Summary: The patient was involved in a motorcycle accident in which his bike fell onto and injured his left leg. When the nurses assessing the patient could not detect a pulse in that leg, an ominous sign of circulatory failure. The physician when notified chose to dismiss this fact and discharge the patient. The patient would return soon after with worsening symptoms that would require emergency surgery. Should the nurses have initially pressed for further action, treatment?

The patient was involved in a single vehicle accident involving his motorcycle and brought to the Emergency Department for left leg injuries, specifically a knee injury. While riding he had
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On examination at this hospital, a working diagnosis of a dislocated knee and lacerated popliteal artery was made. The severity of the damage to the patient’s leg was enough to prompt the physician to consider amputation. The patient was fortunate in that there were experienced surgeons on hand to perform emergent surgery and save his leg.

The patient would spend a total of thirty-five days in the hospital following the surgery and never fully regain function of his leg. He would sue the hospital where he was initially treated and the physician who originally sent him home following his injury.

On review of the case, the physician’s side would settle out of court for a sum of $275,000. The lawsuit against the hospital’s Nursing staff proceeded to court.
It was claimed that the nurses, even though they picked up signs/symptoms of a medical emergency in their assessments, did not do enough to see that those concerns were addressed by the physician on duty. They would argue that had the matter been pursued further, the patient’s true injuries could have been diagnosed and treated earlier. Earlier treatment could have prevented the permanent damage and injuries the patient would sustain due to a delay in treatment.
The jury trial would award the plaintiff $880,000 due to the negligence of the hospital’s Nursing staff. The hospital would appeal.
Questions to be answered.
1. Did the Nursing staff have

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