Springfield, MO asked in Health Care Law and Wrongful Death for Missouri

Q: What is the standard of care for nurses taking and recording accurate vitals, specifically oxygen levels?

My grandma had known copd and was just recently diagnosed with lung cancer. We were looking at a few years left with her. At her doctor appointment on monday the nurse took her vitals but spent an unusually long amount if time trying to change her oxygen level reading. Before she stood in front of the machine I saw it read 87 at first, 88 after she started trying to warm up her hands, and 89 after she put a warm rag on her fingers. After she stood in front of it, she said it flashed 95 and so she was going to put 95. My grandma told me to write in my notebook 88. I wrote all numbers seen and said. I didnt realize at the time how dangerous those levels could be, especially for her. But I feel like the nurse should have known and should have put the correct, unaltered reading in her chart so the doctors could have given her basic care like being put on oxygen. The next day she died from what the medical examiner said was she was not getting enough oxygen. Can I do anything about this?

1 Lawyer Answer
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing

A: Contact a member of the Mo. Assn for Justice/Mo. Trial Lawyers assn that handles medical negligence cases. The problem is that a person that is bringing a case has to show that but for the mistake the person who died would have lived. That is sometimes very difficult, especially if the person has an underlying medical condition.

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