The Texas Board of Nursing (BON) has the jurisdiction to hear and decide cases involving the practice of professional nursing in Texas. Any RN or LVN found guilty for violating the state laws and regulations may be subjected to a disciplinary case if not properly defended by a nurse attorney.
One of the examples where a client failed to hire the right nurse attorney will be discussed in this case.
In this case, a patient pregnant woman was prepared to request a therapeutic abortion when the initial possibility of infection and birth defects was made known to her. However, based on the misinformation presented by the LVN, she decided to continue the pregnancy.
On October 5, 2011, a pregnant woman came in to the hospital where the LVN was working. The pregnant woman was in her first trimester. She took ill and discovered that Cytomegalovirus was involved. The patient was aware that Cytomegalovirus was associated with birth defects when contracted during a pregnancy.
Fearing harm to her child, she consulted an obstetrician. The doctor had her worked up to determine the nature and extent of the infection. The results showed that the woman had an active infection with Cytomegalovirus noted as the primary infecting organism.
It would have been prudent at this point, for the physician to discuss the possibility of a child with birth defects being born. With this knowledge the woman and her husband could have made an informed decision on whether or not to continue the pregnancy.
Instead, the physician instructed the LVN to inform the patient of the test result. Apparently there was no further follow up with the patient by the physician to discuss the results.
Specifically, the physician did not ask the woman if she wished to continue the pregnancy in lieu of the high risk of birth defects.
When the LVN spoke to the patient, she initially only told her the test was “positive.” The patient not understanding what that meant called the LVN to question her again about it.
At this point, the LVN should have either asked the physician, or told the patient she needed to talk to the doctor about what the test result meant and how it might affect her pregnancy.
Instead, the LVN explained what she thought was correct to the patient.
The pregnant woman left the conversation believing that there was little or no risk of birth defects to her child. The LVN had stated the positive results of the test meant “she was immune” to CMV.
No mention of the high risk of birth defects due to the active cytomegalovirus infection were disclosed during the conversation by the LVN.
The child when born had severe birth defects characteristic of a cytomegalovirus infection during pregnancy.
The parents filed a complaint for wrongful birth against the clinic including the LVN.
The complaint alleged that the birth of a severely deformed child could have been prevented or at least anticipated. They argued that had an accurate interpretation of the test result been presented, the high-risk pregnancy would have been terminated.
Nurses access and report confidential and sensitive test results to case managers, insurance companies, physicians and other nurses as a matter of course each day. It is commonly accepted that only a physician can interpret what a test result implies for a specific patient. Nurses by training have a general knowledge of basic lab values and what they may represent. In this case, a pregnant woman with an active Cytomegalovirus infection was misinformed by a nurse reporting a result. Had an accurate explanation been given, a therapeutic abortion might have been performed.
The LVN failed to properly present and defend her case against the court. She was disciplined warning to suspension of her LVN license by violating Texas Board of Nursing regulation.
Avoid the similar thing from happening on your end. Make sure to find the right nurse attorney in case a complaint will be filed against you before the Texas Board of Nursing (BON).
Consult with Texas nurse attorney Yong J. An today if you have any questions about your disciplinary process by calling or texting him at (832) 428-5679 day, night or weekends.