Study: Less Educated, Overworked Nurses Cause More Patient Deaths

A study, supported in part by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), links the rate of patient mortality to both education and staffing. The research was conducted in European hospitals, where it was found that the higher a nurse’s education and the fewer surgical patients under a nurse’s care, the more significant death rates dropped.

This suggests patients may be at a greater risk when there are staffing issues or a lack of training. In the United States, these can be common reasons for poor patient care, and in turn, may result in preventable injuries or even death.

In this study, it was estimated that deaths increased by 7 percent when a nurse took on just one additional patient. And there was a decrease of about 7 percent of patient deaths for every 10 percent increase in nurses with a bachelor’s degree.

If anything, the results of these findings highlight two key issues that could be attributed to nursing mistakes made here in the United States — overstaffing and inadequate training. Despite the causes, if a patient is seriously or fatally injured, it may allow for a claim to be filed.

Pursuing a Medical Malpractice Claim against a Nurse

Most people associate medical malpractice cases with doctors and surgeons. But any healthcare provider potentially could be sued, including nurses. There would need to be proof that the duties performed were negligent. Perhaps the nurse administered the wrong medication or failed to respond to a medical device’s alarm.

In addition to showing a deviation from an acceptable standard of care, it must be directly linked to the resulting injuries. It could be that the patient suffers organ damage because of receiving the wrong drug, or the patient’s condition becomes life-threatening as a result of not taking action when a monitor’s alarm sounded.

To learn if there is a case of nursing malpractice, the next step should be to seek legal counsel with Gacovino, Lake & Associates. A lawyer will advise of rights and legal options that may be available: 800-550-0000.

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