Nursing Negligence in Uganda

Negligence can be defined as a failure to take reasonable care or steps to prevent loss or injury to another person. Nursing negligence is when a nurse who is fully capable of caring does not care in the way a reasonably prudent nurse would, and as a result the patient suffers unnecessarily.

With nurses playing an increasingly important role in the care and treatment of patients in hospitals throughout the country, nursing negligence claims are becoming more common. Nurses in particular have a significant amount of contact and interactions with their patients. Unfortunately, nurses are sometimes overburdened and understaffed which can lead to care and treatment that falls below the standard of care.

Approximately 25% of cases involving medical negligence involve poor nursing care (nursing negligence). A nursing error may include any mistake or act of negligence by a nurse in regard to some type of patient care. These acts can arise in a number of different ways including a nurse failing to follow a doctor’s orders for treatment, a nurse administering the wrong medication to a patient, a nurse failing to monitor a patient and/or failing to call a doctor for immediate help, or a nurse not properly performing a medical procedure.

Documentation Mistakes

One of a nurse’s many responsibilities is to record accurate and precise documentation of the patient’s condition (i.e. vitals, medication, dosage, reactions, etc.). When done improperly, the patient can suffer severe consequences with the most extreme being death.

Mistakes a nurse can make when documenting a patient’s condition include:

  • Inaccurately recording conditions
  • Using incorrect verbiage or abbreviations
  • Failing to update changes in progress

Errors in Medication

Nurses are habitually tasked with administering various medications to patients. If a patient receives the wrong medication, or the wrong dosage of the medication, the administering nurse could be held responsible for the consequences.

Misplacement of Patient Files

Due to the large volumes of files at mulago hospital, patient files are misplaced and this causes delay in medication dosage of the patients.

All those errors can be preventable once an information system is put in place so the patient data is properly stored.

For more information please reach us via at [email protected]

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