LEGAL QUESTIONS: Killing with kindness

February 2005 
Volume 35  Number 2
Pages 73 - 73
  PDF Version Available!

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 35(2)             February 2005             p 73 Killing with kindness [LEGAL QUESTIONS: REPORTING A COLLEAGUE]


One of the nurses working in my unit is what I'd call “old school.” I once saw her take it upon herself to hang a liter of 0.9% sodium chloride solution when she saw that a patient had no fluids running. After a colleague stopped the infusion and told her that the patient could have gone into pulmonary edema, this nurse said that giving a little extra fluid prevents dehydration.

I don't want to get a reputation as a whistle-blower, but I think this nurse is taking dangerous risks. Would I be liable if a patient were harmed and I hadn't spoken up? —M.P., ARIZ.

You can't ignore unsafe behavior. Don't think of yourself as a whistle-blower but as an ...

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