The Baez Law Firm | San Antonio Lawyers and Attorneys

The Baez Law Firm | San Antonio Lawyers and Attorneys
San Antonio Lawyers and Attorneys

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Texas Board of Nursing, another way to protect Texas Doctors

There is already plenty of controversy in Texas about suing doctors in the medical malpractice arena. Hospitals in Texas are now using the Board of Nursing and the Nursing Practice Act to minimize their exposure/liability and blame nurses rather than the doctors who improperly treated the patients where deviations of the standard of care are apparent. This is how they do it:

Hospital A receives a Patient that has HIV. The receiving ER doctor learns of the HIV and decides to make the Patient a DNR, since its only a matter of time before the Patient dies (insurance companies only pay for certain amounts, procedures and things for HIV patients). In the mean time, the Patient has chest pains and an EKG reveals that a possible MI is in the making. The ER doctor does not treat the heart attack but orders a consultation with another doctor. The Nurse tells the doctor that the Patient is complaining of chest pains and shows the doctor the EKG. The doctor does not want to treat the HIV patient, rules out a possible MI on the EKG itself and tells the Nurse that the Patient is a drug seeker anyways. Three Hours later the Patient is transfer to the ICU for pneumonia and dies at the ICU while in the care of another doctor five hours after arrival. Cause of death, MI. No expensive drugs are given for the MI and no other treatment was selected by the doctors.

The hospital realizes this, and launches a bogus investigation to get the "Root Cause" analysis simply to see how they can protect their assets (the doctors) who make them the money. The hospital sees that the nurse did not do a procedure (which was not ordered by the doctor nor paid for by the insurance anyways) but decides to fire the nurse and report her to the Texas Board of Nursing. The hospital produces falsified records and documents to the Board, the nurse has an informal hearing but the Board is only concerned about the procedure that the Nurse did not do which was not ordered. The Board hears all the evidence of how the Nurse acted as any other prudent nurse would act under the same or similar circumstances, but the Board did not want to hear that. Case close, Nurse is reprimanded, Doctor is safe and the Hospital wins since it was the nurse, and not the doctor, who deviated from the Standard of Care. Since hospitals will not defend nurses that are not working for them, the nurse is exposed, the Patient is death, insurance wins, hospital is free as a bird.

The Texas Board of Nursing is a governmental agency that is very nice and does not look like a public office at all. The floors are hard wood floors with very nice paintings and equipment. The nurse wondered: who provided the funds for the upgrades to this governmental offices. Insurance companies? Hospitals? Doctors? The public? It would be interesting to find out!!!

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