You need to know these high-risk areas

ED nurses should be aware of common areas of liability in the their area of practice, stresses Sue Dill Calloway, RN, MSN, JD, a nurse attorney at the Mount Carmel College of Nursing in Columbus, OH.

"Knowledge of hot legal issues can assist the nurse in taking extreme care when faced with one of these areas to avoid liability," she says.

Dill says common errors in the ED include:

• patient falls;

• medication errors;

• error in treatment;

• use of defective equipment;

• deferring improper orders;

• timely notifying the physician of a change in the patient’s condition;

• abandonment;

• confidentiality;

• conscious sedation monitoring;

• restraint injuries;

• mistaken identity of patient;

• informed consent;

• blood consent;

• inadequate documentation;

• failure to know policies and procedures.