Wrong site surgery has become a frequent incident in health care facilities across the nation. “Research in the US has suggested that wrong site surgery happens every 5-10 years, or one in 112,994 cases” (Edwards, 2008, p. 168). Recent studies have shown that despite the focus by governing bodies over wrong site surgery in the past few years, wrong site surgery continues to happen at an alarming rate of 40 times per week in the United States alone (“Wrong-site surgery still happens 40x/week”, 2011). Throughout this paper The Neighborhood newspaper article, “Amputation Mishap; Negligence”, will be discussed. There will be a differentiation between negligence, gross negligence, and malpractice. I will make a decision regarding whether the incident referenced in the newspaper article was negligent or not. I will also describe the importance of documentation related to the incident and its correlation to potential negligence. An explanation of what ethical principles would guide my practice as a nurse in this situation and how I would document the case to satisfy ethical and legal requirements will also be discussed. The Neighborhood newspaper article, “Amputation Mishap; Negligence”, describes an incident where a 62-year-old man had the wrong leg amputated in surgery. The man suffers from diabetes, which has led to poor circulation in his leg, requiring surgery. The man woke up after surgery to find that the wrong leg was amputated. The newspaper article also states that the hospital has been suffering from a nursing shortage and union problems. Negligence occurs when “one may have performed or failed to perform an act that a reasonable person would or would not have done in similar circumstances” (Harrison & Judson, 2010, p. 69). While negligence is seen as a decrease in the expected standard of care, “gross negligence is seen as a complete failure to show care that in fact implies recklessness or a willful disregard for safety and...
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