A New York court recently denied a summary judgment motion and decided that a registered nurse will have to defend against a medical malpractice claim alleging that she failed to properly respond to a girl’s allergic reaction, which eventually resulted in the girl suffering severe brain injuries.
The incident at issue occurred in 1998, when the nurse was working for Accuhealth Inc., a company that specialized in providing in-home infusions. The nurse arrived at the girl’s home to give her an infusion of a steroid intended to treat an eye inflammation. All of the materials supposedly needed for the infusion and been shipped to the girl’s home ahead of time.
When the nurse began the procedure, the girl suffered an allergic reaction resulting in a seizure. The nurse called 911, inserted a breathing tube, and performed CPR until first responders appeared on the scene. However, by the time she received treatment, the girl had suffered severe brain injuries that left her unable to speak, eat, or communicate.
A malpractice case was filed against the nurse and Accuhealth claiming that CPR was not properly performed and that the nurse failed to ensure that she had epinephrine available when performing the procedure. The suit alleges that the nurse should not have performed the procedure without epinephrine, a drug that would have counteracted the allergic reaction.
The nurse has argued that epinephrine is a prescription drug and that she could not have supplied it on her own. In denying the motion for summary judgment, the Appellate Division did not find for the plaintiff’s, but simply said that there were legitimate factual issues that should be heard by a jury.