The plaintiff. age forty-two. was admitted to the defendant hospital for a hysterectomy. After surgery she developed bleeding and was taken to the radiology suite for uterine artery embolization to stop the bleeding. A catheter was inserted in the plaintiffs right femoral artery. then through the right external iliac artery and then over to the left side of the uterus to stop the bleeding. The procedure was successful.Doctor’s orders were entered for nurses at the hospital to perform frequent leg examinations to detect possible diminished blood flow and nerve injury. a known complication of the procedure caused by clotting of the external iliac artery due to arterial wall injury. The plaintiff claimed that the leg examinations were not performed. There was no documentation of the exams being performed.
The plaintiff claimed that she had excruciating pain in the right leg all night long and could not move the leg. The next morning. approximately twelve hours after the catheterization procedure. a new nurse came on shift and discovered the paralyzed. pulseless leg. Another procedure was done and a massive clot in the external iliac artery was found and removed. Permanent nerve injury to the right leg resulted. however.
The defendant argued that the leg examinations were performed and that the cause of the nerve injury was not the occluded external iliac artery. but the pooled blood from the post-hysterectomy bleeding.
A $1.55 million verdict was returned. Questions 1. What are the four elements needed to establish that malpractice has occurred? (4 points)
2. In the case provided explain in short answer format if how each element of malpractice was or was not met. (8 points)
3. What could the defendant nurse have done to prevent the event from occurring? (8 points)