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Depressed nurses can lead to medical malpractice

When a Louisianan goes for treatment at a medical center, one of the last things that he or she is expecting is to be negatively affected by the state of mind of one of the caregivers. However, if a person is not paying strict attention to what he or she is doing or is feeling emotionally or physically under the weather, it stands to reason that they might not be as focused on the task at hand. This is an issue that is drawing more attention as research is showing the nurses who are depressed are more prone to making mistakes.

It is important to remember that a negligent operating room staff member or others who are meant to care for patients can make errors that cause serious injury and death as easily as a doctor can. Research is indicating the registered nurses are suffering from depression almost twice as frequently as people who work in other industries. That depression is being found to have an influence on patient care. In the study, there were surveys conducted with almost 1,800 nurses. 54 percent stated that they suffered from poor physical or emotional health. One-third stated that they were depressed on some level, had stress problems, and suffered from anxiety. Fewer than 50 percent said their professional quality of life was good.

Half of the nurses who responded stated that they had reported medical errors within the previous five years. The researchers did a comparison of the nurses' wellness to the medical error statistics and there was a connection between those who were depressed and mistakes. Those with poorer health were 26 to 71 percent more likely of making a reportable medical mistake than those who were healthier. Having a nurse who is depressed might lead to patients being in danger of injury and fatality due to a mistake they might make. This is troublesome and should be considered if a person suffers an unexpected issue while being treated or dies and it is believed to have been due to a medical mistake.

When there a belief that a medical mistake has caused a person to become sick, have a condition or die when receiving treatment, there many different reasons why it might have happened. An attorney can investigate the case and determine if the nurse's state of mind had an influence on the alleged medical malpractice. This can be important when seeking compensation in a lawsuit.

Source: healthleadersmedia.com, "Depressed Nurses Make More Medical Errors," Alexandra Wilson Pecci, Oct. 25, 2017

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