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Nurses can commit medical malpractice, too

Doctors negligently harming their patients may make more headlines, but they are not the only medical professionals potentially capable of medical malpractice.

Most of the time, patients at hospitals and medical clinics spend more time interacting with nurses than physicians. Nurses have a tough job, and the vast majority does an admirable job of administering tests, monitoring their patients’ condition and alerting the doctor when necessary.

But because nurses often are the ones with the responsibility to administer medication and other treatments, and monitor patients’ vital signs, they arguable have more opportunity to commit a medical error than any other medical professionals. And many sick people in Boston have been harmed by malpractice committed by a nurse.

One common form of nurse malpractice is delayed or failed diagnosis. Officially, only a physician may diagnose a patient. But busy doctors often rely on nurses to report any symptoms or changes in condition that a particular patient is experience. So when a nurse misses an important sign of what is bothering the patient, or fails to take it seriously enough, the patient’s condition can needlessly grow worse. He or she may have to wait longer than necessary for treatment, if it ever comes.

Nursing negligence can cause pain and suffering, and possibly permanent health effects. In the worst cases, patients die because their nurse was not paying sufficient attention, or perhaps was stretched too thin due to hospital or clinic understaffing.

Either way, victims and their families may have a strong case for malpractice compensation. A conversation with a personal injury attorney can help you figure out your next steps.

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