Read the case study presented at the end of Chapter 18 (Guido, p. 393)
Gonzales was admitted to a surgical center for a routine colonoscopy during which three polyps were removed. The procedure began at 11:00 a.m. and he was released at 12:30 p.m. The patient began experiencing abdominal pain the following day. He tried to phone the attending physician at 2:00 p.m. and later called the physician’s nurse at 5:00 p.m. Mr. Gonzales told the nurse he was experiencing severe abdominal pain and that he was flushed and felt he had a fever. The nurse told Mr. Gonzales that everyone had gone home for the day, and she advised him to take aspirin for the fever and call back in the morning. Mrs. Gonzales drove her husband to the hospital the following morning at 10:00 a.m. He was placed on antibiotics, which did not resolve the problem, and he had surgery on the fifth day following the original colonoscopy. At that time, it was determined that the patient’s intestine was perforated at the time of the polyp removal, and Mr. Gonzales now has a permanent colostomy. The patient has now filed a lawsuit against the nurse and physician for malpractice.
- Was the nurse negligent in the advice she gave Mr. Gonzales concerning his condition?
- Did the nurse exceed her scope of practice in the advice she gave the patient?
- Should the nurse have instructed Mr. Gonzales to go immediately to the local emergency center?
- How would you decide this case? Who, if anyone, is liable in this case?
- Read the case study presented at the end of Chapter 20 (Guido, p. 439)