What are the legal facts of the case? How might the nurse have prevented a lawsuit? What is a possible defense the nurse might use?
Case Study 1: Failure to Take Action
A nurse was sued for failure to take appropriate nursing action when she improperly administered a tube feeding. Toward the end of the shift, the nurse remembered that she had to give a client a tube feeding. In a hurry to get home, she did not check the position of the tube before administering the feeding. She poured the feeding rapidly into the nasogastric feeding tube and continued to do so even though the feeding fluid was coming out of the client’s nose and mouth, and he was gagging and in respiratory distress. Despite the client’s distress, the nurse left the room and went home. An orderly came into the room after report and sought assistance for the client, who was now unresponsive. The client died a short time later. (Source: Aiken, TD. Legal, Ethical, and Political Issues in Nursing. Philadelphia: FA Davis, 1995.)