Holding Nurses Liable in Georgia Medical Malpractice Cases

Needing surgery can be a scary thing, and Georgia patients need to find doctors and surgeons that they trust to perform their procedures. Typically, operations in Georgia go well, and there are no issues or concerns. Occasionally, however, mistakes may be made, and accidents may occur, which can lead to significant injuries or even the death of the patient. When this does tragically happen, Georgia patients have the right to sue their negligent medical providers, to recover financially for the harm the medical provider’s mistake or carelessness caused.

The Court of Appeals of Georgia recently considered a medical malpractice case brought against the nurses at a hospital where the patient was treated. According to the court’s written opinion, the patient arrived for surgery on the morning of December 16, 2014. The patient was supposed to receive an antibiotic within one hour before the surgery began, and records show that she was given the antibiotic at 12:40 p.m. However, there is a significant dispute over whether the surgery started at 12:05 or 1:05 p.m., as there are medical records that have both times written on them.

What is clear, however, is that the patient, twenty days after the surgery, went back to the hospital complaining of drainage from the surgery wound. The problem continued to occur, even after a wound cleaning, and several days later, the patient suffered neurological deficits caused by an abscess, including right-sided paralysis. Over the next two years, the patient claims that she had to undergo multiple surgeries and therapies and suffered from permanent neurological injuries, all resulting from the initial brain infection. She sued the hospital and medical professionals who worked on her surgery, including the nurses, in December of 2016, alleging failure to properly administer the antibiotic within one hour before the surgery.

Whether a nurse can be held liable for medical malpractice or not is a complicated question. It was not the nurses’ job to administer the antibiotic, and they did not perform the actual surgery. However, the Court of Appeals, reversing in part a grant of summary judgment for the defendants, found that the nurses could potentially be held liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. In so holding, the court explained that the nurses’ standard duty of care might include preparing the patient for surgery, which includes ensuring that the antibiotic was administered correctly. Because they may have breached this duty, the court found that the plaintiff’s suit against them could continue and go to a jury trial.

Do You Need A Georgia Medical Malpractice Attorney?

If you or someone you love has recently been injured due to a medical professional’s negligence, you may be wondering what your options are. Contact McAleer Law to discuss your options with one of our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys. Our attorneys have represented patients on a wide variety of Georgia medical malpractice claims, and pride ourselves on excellent client representation. When you work with us, you know your case is in good hands. Learn more by calling us today at 404-622-5337 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys.

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