Articles Posted in Nursing errors

Michelle Phibbs, 29, had a history of mental illness. She was admitted to Heartland Behavioral Healthcare, a state-run psychiatric hospital, for an inpatient stay after experiencing difficulty following the death of a close family friend.

A psychiatrist diagnosed bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and alcohol abuse, among other problems, and prescribed Ativan, Geodon and Thorazine.

One morning, after Phibbs was released from restraints, a nurse noted that she had forced breathing and was gasping. In the next hour, the facility’s staff checked on Phibbs three times until a nurse found her unresponsive.
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A proposed Illinois law would limit the number of patients each hospital nurse would be allowed to care for at one time. The proposed legislation was based on a national survey, which suggested that such a rule would lead to better working conditions for nurses and would benefit patient care.

However, Illinois’ leading hospital lobbying group remained solidly opposed to the idea, arguing it would result in the closure of many hospitals, especially in less populated rural areas, and would accelerate the already rising costs of healthcare.

The survey was conducted in 2018 by the group Nurses Take DC, a national organization that lobbies for stricter nurse-to-patient ratios.
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Connie Lockhart was hospitalized after overdosing on medication. She was 58 years old at the time of this incident. An emergency room physician inserted a central line femoral catheter in her right leg. However, this was misplaced into her femoral artery instead of her femoral vein.

Lockhart was transferred to the facility’s ICU where she received care from critical care pulmonologist Dr. Sachin Lavania.

Nurses informed Dr. Lavania that Lockhart’s leg had become cold, mottled, and pulseless.
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LaQuinta Murray experienced severe pain in her lower extremities. She was just 29 years old at the time. She was admitted to Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center with a diagnosis of sickle cell crisis, chronic anemia and strep throat. Dr. Mandip Arora ordered both opioid and non-opioid analgesics, as well as strict recording of Murray’s urine output.

Over the next four days, Murray was administered Toradol. She experienced critically high potassium levels and decreased urine output, but the nurses chose not to record this.

Murray then suffered renal failure, which led to fatal cardiac arrest. Murray had been a CNA. She was survived by her husband and minor child.
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Jody Blatchley, a 32-year-old snowboarding coach, fractured his left tibia and right calcaneus in a snowboarding mishap. He underwent two surgeries over the next few days including a left tibial plateau repair surgery performed by Dr. Richard Cunningham.

After a second surgery, it was noted that Blatchley had pain, decreased sensation in his left leg, and an inability to move his left toes. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Peter James evaluated Blatchley and prescribed pain medication.

Over the next few days, Blatchley’s pain increased, he developed swelling and remained unable to wiggle his toes. He underwent an ultrasound and was later found to have increased pressure in the compartments of his lower left extremity. This led to an emergency fasciotomy, debridement and skin graft procedures, and placement of a wound VAC six days after the injury. Blatchley now suffers from left foot drop and lower leg pain. His medical expenses totaled $418,000, and he lost income of $190,000.
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Andrew Swanson had a history of various medical problems including diabetes, end-stage renal disease and gangrene. After undergoing a skin graft on his right foot, he was transferred to Regional Hospital for Respiratory and Complex Care.
He was in his mid-40’s and was treated with foot dressing to be changed daily and wrapped with non-elastic Kerlix dressing.

In spite of this procedure ordered by his treating physicians, a Regional Hospital nurse applied an elastic Ace bandage and left it in place for three days.
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William Glynn Jr., 66, suffered an injury to his cervical spine in a car accident. He had limited use of his extremities following that incident. He underwent cervical spinal surgery at North Fulton Hospital and was gaining strength and showing signs of improvement.

However, three days after that surgery, hospital nurses tried to move Glynn from a reclining chair to his bed. They placed Glynn in a sling attached to a Hoyer lift, but his legs slid downward toward the floor. The hospital nurses pushed the Hoyer lift back toward the chair, which caused Glynn to strike his head against that chair.

The next day, Glynn awoke with new symptoms; a CT scan revealed a fractured-dislocation at C7 to T1. In spite of surgery about 40 hours after this incident, Glynn now suffers from incomplete quadriplegia and requires 24-hour-per-day care.
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A 6-year-old child suffered from fatigue, constipation, fever, pain and sleeping difficulties for several weeks. The girl was brought to a federal health clinic by her parents. A nurse practitioner examined her, diagnosed constipation and prescribed a suppository and juice. Two days later, a pediatrician confirmed the same misdiagnosis and prescribed MiraLax.

The child’s condition continued to deteriorate. Her parents brought her to the hospital a few days later. At that time, an x-ray showed a massive distension of the child’s spleen and an enlarged liver.

The girl was then life-flighted to another hospital where she was diagnosed as having acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
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A lawsuit has been filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) in a Louisiana federal court. The lawsuit claims that the patient, Lucille Bruno, died because a federally funded clinic ignored signs of breast cancer that led to her death. The lawsuit seeks $5 million in damages.

The surviving children and husband of Lucille Bruno have alleged that Southwest Primary Healthcare and its nurse practitioner who examined Bruno chose not to properly react to what is claimed as signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Southwest Primary Healthcare is a federally funded clinic, which means the U.S. government is a defendant in this case along with the nurse practitioner, Debbie Vidrine.

In September 2013, Bruno first went to an emergency room in Louisiana. She was complaining of breast pain and told the doctors of a lump in her breast. The hospital, which is not a party to this lawsuit, sent her on her way with instructions to follow up with another primary care physician should her symptoms continue.
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Melissa Bain, in her capacity as the personal representative of the estate of her deceased husband Christopher Heath (“Heath”), appealed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Colbert County Northwest Alabama Health Care Authority d/b/a Helen Keller Hospital (“HKH”). Dr. Preston Wigfall was the emergency room physician working at the hospital on the night Heath was taken to the emergency room.

This matter began because Heath complained he had a lump in his throat that would not go away. When the pain became unbearable, he was taken to the hospital’s emergency room. In his history was the fact that his father had died of an aneurysm at the age of 47 and that he also had hypertension. He was on high blood pressure medication.

In the ER there was no evidence that the nurses on duty bothered to review his medical history with him. Dr. Wigfall, who was the emergency room physician on duty that night, did not remember if he took Heath’s medical history. Nothing was recorded in that respect.
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