Nursing Assessment Liability – 11/2/06 comment

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In today’s “sue happy” culture, could the case be made that this patient’s fatal massive heart attack might have been prevented if a more thorough assessment was done? Medical care costs are always taken into account, but at what point do we not test for possible underlying problems? It is certainly reasonable that “no way anyone could have known this was going to happen on that very morning” anymore than I know I’ll be killed in an accident on the way to the grocery store today. When I read stories like this, it reminds me of all the OB/GYN’s who get hauled into court each year for not producing perfect babies and complication-free deliveries for mothers. Are we at the point where nursing assessments are done more for legal protection instead of actually helping the patient?

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