In 2012, Nurse C was employed by a local surgery center primarily in the role of providing nursing care for post-operative patients. However, on one occasion she was required to act as a circulating nurse for a case involving a patient who was having ear tubes removed and reinstalled in an outpatient surgery procedure. Nurse C and the surgical technician on the case were employed by the surgery center. The surgical technician was very familiar with the procedure but Nurse C was not. The surgical technician agreed to set up the room with the appropriate medical tray complete with surgical tools and medications requested by the ear, nose and throat surgeon.
During the procedure the surgical technician pointed to a bottle after the surgeon requested anti-biotic drops. Unfortunately, the surgical technician pointed to a bottle that contained a caustic solution of fluid and not an anti-biotic. Nurse C handed it to the technician who gave it to the surgeon to administer drops to the patient’s ear. The drops caused immediate pain and burning to the patient’s outer ear canal. The patient eventually sued the surgeon and the surgical center. That case was settled.
As a result of the settlement, a report was made to the Nursing Board who initiated a prosecution against Nurse C alleging that she had violated the standard of care applicable to nurses and requested either revocation of her license and/or probation with conditions.
Mark Oium defended the case for Nurse C at the Nursing Board and secured the services of a very well experienced and credentialed surgical nurse to review the case. Through the discovery developed by Mr. Oium, and the work of Mr. Oium’s expert witness, the Nursing Board was convinced that its case against Nurse C had no merit and ultimately dismissed the charges with prejudice against Nurse C.