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Nurses false statement sparks medical mapractice suit

People who need health care might have slight misgivings about the safety of whatever procedure or diagnosis is at hand. Medical malpractice, however, doesn't always mean a physical injury, misdiagnosis or an unaccounted-for sponge. Patients in Florida are entitled to the best standards of care possible, and that includes care provided by nurses.

A couple in another state has fought long and hard to repair their marriage according to a lawsuit filed against the hospital where their child was born. It doesn't seem likely that one would be related to the other, but the couple alleges statements by a maternity nurse caused damage to their relationship.

The hospital faces a civil action for loss of consortium and negligent infliction of emotional distress based on alleged representations made by a nurse in their employ. The couple suffered a shock after the birth of their baby in 2011. It is alleged a nurse entered the delivery room and told the couple blood tests showed the husband was not the baby's father. Because the pregnancy resulted from artificial insemination, the devastated couple reportedly believed an error was made by the doctor during the process.

According to the lawsuit, the emotional toll on the marriage for the year following the delivery led to divorce proceedings. Expenses for counseling were necessary because of the alleged misrepresentations of the nurse. A second blood test in 2012 confirmed the husband was indeed the child's father. Therefore, the complaint avers the nurse knew or should have known the information she gave to the new parents was untrue.

Relief that the circumstances were not as believed is a good thing. However, the difficulties experienced as a result of someone's negligent actions don't need to be ignored. A hospital can be accountable for possible malpractice on the part of its employees. Injuries are not always physical. Emotional distress and other psychological consequences deserve careful evaluation to determine if seeking compensation from those responsible is appropriate.

Source:  Oy Vey, "" Matt Reynolds, Feb. 04, 2014

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