It is clear that a nurse’s responsibility is all about the patient’s well-being. A nurse’s responsibility to the patient is to utilize her education and training as an LVN to stabilize the patient whenever needed in a prompt situation. If a nurse faces such circumstances and being summoned by the Board due to such an issue, a nurse is given the right to legal counsel. This is why RNs/LVNs should hire a nurse attorney for assistance and help in regard to such cases.
At the time of the initial incident, an LVN was employed as a Licensed Vocational Nurse at a hospital in Midland, Texas, and had been in that position for four (4) months.
On or about July 21, 2020, the LVN failed to appropriately intervene when the patient experienced abnormal vital signs before and during dialysis treatment. The patient had a heart rate of 49 beats per minute and blood pressure of 92/33mmHg and the patient’s low heart rate was not communicated to the registered nurse (RN), as required, and treatment was initiated. During treatment, the patient’s heart rate dropped to the 30s and blood pressure dropped to 68/42, which the LVN failed to notify the RN about before fluid boluses were initiated. Subsequently, emergency medical services (EMS) were activated and the patient was taken to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a complete heart block and cardiogenic shock, and expired the next day. The LVN’s conduct resulted in a delay in emergency treatment for the patient that was needed to prevent further complications and may have contributed to the patient’s subsequent demise.
In response to the incident, the LVN states that the RN was notified in a prompt manner. The LVN states that when the patient arrived, he was not feeling well, and had not been coming to his appointments as scheduled. The LVN states that the patient had no complaints of nausea, chest pain, or indigestion. The LVN states that the RN was working the bay and was notified of the patient’s blood pressure; the RN was with another patient at that time while LVN performed the catheter care and the patient was then started with treatment. The LVN states that the initial blood pressure was low, so she adjusted the cuff and notified the RN. The LVN administered oxygen by nasal cannula to the patient, as in prior treatments his blood pressure would drop but would improve after oxygen was administered. The LVN states that the ultra-filtration was turned off and the patient’s feet were elevated, as she adjusted the blood pressure cuff again and administered fluids. The LVN states that the RN then arrived at the chairside and additional fluid was given under her direction. Once the blood pressure improved, the LVN states that she asked the nurse if she could leave the floor to use the restroom, and was told it was fine; before the LVN made it to the bathroom, the patient coded.
The following incident had caused the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) or referred as the Board to place the LVN and her license into disciplinary action. The LVN should have sought assistance from an experienced and skilled nurse attorney to provide clarifications on the case. Having a good and reliable nurse attorney around during a trial or any proceedings can result in a different outcome.
If you’ve ever done any errors or misdemeanors outside or during your shift as an RN or LVN, and you wish to preserve your career and your license, an experienced nurse attorney is what you need. You may contact Nurse Attorney Yong J. An, an experienced nurse attorney for various licensing cases for 16 years, can assist you by contacting him at (832) 428-5679.