nurse committing malpractice with swab and vial.

Nurse Malpractice

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Q: Who can commit medical malpractice?

When most people hear the words “medical malpractice”, they likely envision a doctor or surgeon making a grievous mistake that killed or seriously injured a patient. But New Mexico medical malpractice attorneys know that medical malpractice isn’t confined to doctors. It can be committed by other licensed medical professionals–such as nurses. 

A hospital nurse who administered IVs for cardiac stress tests was reportedly suspended (and later resigned and left the country) because she “may have used the same IV bag on different patients on more than one occasion”. As a result, the employer hospital sent letters to 1851 patients who she may have infected “with HIV, hepatitis and other diseases if fluids from one patient seeped back into the bag and were then transferred to other patients”. At least one lawsuit has reportedly been commenced with many more expected to be filed.

Medical malpractice is a special type of personal injury lawsuit. Generally, a personal injury lawsuit arises when the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions or inactions of a person or entity seriously injure someone else. If the victim dies as a result of their injuries, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate. If liability can be established, compensatory damages may be awarded. 

In a medical malpractice lawsuit, the patient is the victim and the defendant(s) are a doctor, hospital, and/or other medical professional(s) whose actions deviated from the acceptable standard of medical care and directly caused the patient harm. 

Negligence in medical malpractice

In a medical malpractice lawsuit, the victim must establish that the negligence of a medical professional either:

  • caused your harm
  • worsened your condition 
  • caused unreasonable complications, or
  • required additional medical treatment.

There are six factors in a New Mexico medical malpractice lawsuit. These are:

  • establishing negligence (see above) 
  • proving a healthcare provider deviated from the acceptable standards of medical care
  • establishing the negligence was the direct cause of the injury
  • establishing the injury lead to specific economic or non-economic damages
  • filing an application for review with New Mexico’s medical review commission and
  • filing a malpractice claim within three years of the date of the injury. 

If you or a loved one has been injured or a loved one has been killed as a result of medical malpractice, the experts at the Hunt Law Farm can help maximize the compensation to which you may be entitled. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. 

From our office in Santa Fe, we represent injury victims in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Raton, Roswell, Los Alamos, Las Vegas, and throughout the state of New Mexico.