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Medical malpractice claims increase for nurses

Doctors are not the only ones who face medical malpractice claims in Louisiana. A recent report by the Nurses Service Organization (NSO) shows that more than $90 million has been paid in nurses' malpractice claims over five years. Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses were all included in the report.

Close to 85 percent of nurses facing medical malpractice claims have been practicing for at least 16 years. However, nurses with three to five years of experience had the largest indemnity payments. Nurses who trained outside of the United States are more likely to face a medical malpractice claim than nurses who were trained in the United States.

As for the field of work, nurses who worked in high-risk areas are more likely to face malpractice lawsuits. The highest percentage of lawsuits, 36 percent, were against those who work in the adult medical/surgical field.

The highest indemnity payments were among nurses in the aesthetics/cosmetics field. And, a large number of the malpractice allegations against the nurses were also involved in the treatment and assessment of patients. In fact, nurses who fail to use patient notes face more claims than those that do.

Technology can also play a role in how successful a nurse is in avoiding malpractice claims. Those who have access to clinical information at work have lower indemnity payments than others.

Doctors, nurses, medical professionals and even the hospitals themselves can face medical malpractice lawsuits. Those in the medical field are required to make sure that their patients are treated with a certain level of care. Failure to do so may cause the patient serious injury.

For those facing the consequences of such a failure, understanding the law can become paramount to pay for their ever increasing medical bills. Accordingly, consulting an attorney may help.

Source: Property Casualty 360, "Nursing malpractice claims increase," Patricia Harman, Feb. 1, 2016

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