No matter how many safeguards are put into place or how clear protocols are disseminated at a medical facility, hospital errors will always occur if the employees implementing those standards are negligent or abusive. In other words, medical malpractice can only be prevented if nurses, doctors, and all other medical professionals follow the required actions at all times.
Unfortunately, far too often individuals in these crucial positions make reckless, or even knowing, mistakes that put dozens of patients at risk. The Washington Post reported on just such a story.
A nurse at a hospital in Minnesota was recently suspending following an investigation into her theft of pain medication. The nurse is suspecting of taking the medication directly from patient IV bags. Apparently the nurse used a syringe to pull out pain medication from the bags. She then replaced the stolen drugs with saline or air to fool observers into thinking the level had not changed.
What’s worse is that it is thought she may have introduced an unusual bacterial infection into those patients from whom she was stealing. The bacterium involved is not usually found in people, and so doctors aren’t clear what the ultimate consequence will be.
At least 23 patients have been notified of the problem. As of yet no serious problems have resulted from the possible infection-however there remains a clear risk that more deadly complications could develop.
The U.S. Food and Drug Enforcement Administration and Food and Drug Administration have entered the investigation.
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers remain shocked by all egregious examples of criminal conduct by healthcare professionals. It is examples like this that should remind all medical administrators of the vital importance of ensuring their employees remain of the highest quality possible-above any thoughts of similar, criminal conduct. As a patient (or family member of a patient), it is important to hold the facility accountable for the egregious actions of its employees. Contact an Illinois medical malpractice attorney to learn more about how the legal system protects victims in these cases.
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