Did You Document?
Every nurse I know and have worked with; I would say that less than half; has ever wondered about the legal ramifications of an in-hospital cardiac arrest (code blue). Code blue events happen fast, and documenting the entire event correctly may be a difficult and daunting task.
urses are being named defendants in malpractice lawsuits, according to the Nurses Service Organization(NSO). "Of the 549 nurse closed claims, 88.5 percent involve RNs and 11.5 percent involve LPNs/LVNs." (NSO. 2015) If you work in the Emgerncy Room where a lot of code blues happen; those RN's see about 10.7% of claims against nurses.
Professional liability insurance safeguards you against allegations of malpractice. While your employer may provide coverage for you, it may not be enough to cover you in all cases. Your employer's policy is designed to preserve the employers' needs and interests first.
Also, without a signature; any medication administered during the code blue event was given without a doctors order; this is why the code blue sheet has a spot for the medical doctor to sign. This in itself can constitute its own legal issue. The signature also provides anyone who views the document with proof that the event was overseen by a trained healthcare professional.
- Improve code blue documentation
- Improve your own personal documentation
- Be familiar with your hospitals own code blue sheet
- Learn to use your crash cart before a code happens
- Take an Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification class
- Hold Debriefings after the code blue
- Initiate and Maintain a Code Blue Committee
- Create Code Blue Teams and Roles
To learn more on how to protect yourself against law-suits and improve your patient safety. Download the NSO Claim Report Here.
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