An Egregious Example of Possible Medical Malpractice

Many people think medical malpractice liability only applies to doctors.  Actually, medical malpractice liability applies to EMT’s, to doctors, and nearly everyone in between in the medical field.  Here is an ignominious example of possible medical malpractice committed by a nurse, as provided by the Associated Press:

U.S. hospital: Unsterilized instruments may have exposed patients to HIV

(AP) – SAN DIEGO-A hospital nurse who failed to clean surgical instruments may have exposed nearly 300 patients to hepatitis or HIV, officials have said.

Officials at Scripps Memorial Hospital said Wednesday the patients, who all underwent stomach-reduction surgery, had a "very low" risk of infection because the tools had undergone preliminary washes and rinses, although they were not sterilized with chemicals.

The nurse, whose name was not released, knowingly violated operating room procedures when she failed to fully clean a gastroscope, which is used to retrieve other surgical instruments from the stomach, said Scripps spokesman Don Stanziano.

The nurse worked at the hospital from September 2004 until last month, when she resigned after hospital officials confronted her.

"This employee was aware of the procedures and chose not to follow them, which is something we do not tolerate," Stanziano said.

State health officials are investigating the case.

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