Florida Nurse Malpractice: Negligence May Have Contaminated 1,850 Patients

A nurse at Broward General Hospital in Fort Lauderdale may have contaminated over 1,850 patients by using the same IV bag for different purposes. How something like this could occur in this day and age is almost unfathomable. The nurse's negligence has the potential to injure thousands of people who expected competent care and medical malpractice lawsuits against the hospital are likely.

Flagrant behavior

According to a news report from NBC 6 Miami, nurse Qui Lan, who had been employed by Broward General Hospital for seven years, may have used the same IV bag on different patients on more than one occasion – even though she knew that the hospital required switching out old IV bags for new ones on each new patient. Hospital officials say that she may have used IV bags contaminated with other patients' fluids while she administered saline solution to patients who were in the hospital for cardiac chemical stress tests.

Lan had been administering these stress tests to patients since 2004. She may have infected as many as 1,851 patients with HIV, hepatitis and other diseases if fluids from one patient seeped back into the bag and were then transferred to other patients.

The hospital has apparently sent out 1,851 letters to patients who may have affected. The nurse's flagrant behavior will likely result in numerous Florida medical malpractice lawsuits being filed against the hospital. In fact, NBC 6 Miami has reported that at least one has already been filed. Lan was suspended from her job after the story broke and then later resigned. She has since left the country.

Hospital errors and medical malpractice

It is estimated that medical malpractice kills over 100,000 patients every year. While most of us tend to only equate medical malpractice with doctors, the truth is that medical malpractice can also be committed by physicians assistants, nurses, lab technicians or just about anyone whose job requires a license.

If you've been injured due to medical negligence, it's important to understand that every state has its own statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice lawsuits. While Florida's medical malpractice statute of limitations is 2 years, it can be much shorter in other states – such as one year in Tennessee, Kentucky and others. In certain situations involving government hospitals, the time period can be even shorter than that. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will be able to evaluate your situation, analyze your options and explain the process.