Wrongful death due to medical negligence or malpractice can feel like a powerless position. When someone brings a loved one to a hospital for care, the expected outcome is that experts help them recover and the patient goes back to their normal lives.
Even in the situation where the patient’s situation worsens, a concerned family member wants to know that the hospital did everything they could in the most correct way possible. Nurse.com highlights how a failure to reference hospital policy risks lives.
Slow reactions lead to death
A mother filed a wrongful death case on behalf of her son. His diagnosis after arriving to the hospital with abdominal pain required a reversal of his previous colostomy. After the anastomosis surgery, doctors monitored him during his recovery because of the possible risk of a leak.
His condition deteriorated overnight and the nurse assigned to him the next day assessed the patient and, according to the mother’s allegations, failed to call a Code Blue promptly enough to save her son. After complaining about pain, a distended stomach and a slow x-ray, the hospital called a code blue after the patient began to foam at the mouth and pass out.
Working through the aftermath
The patient died of terminal septic shock due to the anticipated risk of a colon leak. The leak required immediate surgery which, as the courts later decided in favor of the mother, the nurse and hospital delayed by failing to refer to their Chain of Command Policy. This served as evidence in the case that, even if people have the best of intentions, medical malpractice may be one overlooked policy away.