Legal Question in Health Care Law in Missouri

Informed consents for surgery

I am a 30 year Registered nurse with 15 years in the O.R.

The circulating nurse is the final check to see that the patient and required documentation are ready.On oct. 2nd we did heart surgery on a man that didn't go as planned. The pt. survived but was sent to ICU with his chest still open albeit covered with sterile dressings.The pt. survived to the point that the surgeons wanted to bring him back to o.r. on oct 5th for chest closure. The circulating nurse didn't see a consent and asked to please get one for this surgery.The surgeon said there is no need for a new consent because this is a continuation of the surgery of oct 2nd. That surgery was for coronary artery bypass grafts, this is for chest closure.A group of high ranking personel came to the o.r. to tell us that they agree with the surgeon.The national V.A. policy does not support their opinion. The Nurses are subjected to this intimidation on a regular basis.I ask that the policies be for everyone and not subjectively interpreted.So, does every case that comes to the o.r. need an individual consent? If not, why not?

Asked on 10/09/06, 9:44 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Anthony DeWitt Bartimus, Frickleton Robertson & Gorny, PC

Re: Informed consents for surgery

A new procedure with new risks demands a new consent. If the patient is unable to sign, the signature should be obtained from a guardian or next of kin. Failure to obtain this consent amounts to assault.

The surgeon is not being smart, and is putting his entire team at risk. But, he is acting just like every other surgeon I have ever sued.

Read more
Answered on 10/09/06, 10:49 am

Related Questions & Answers

More Health Care Law questions and answers in Missouri