Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession (5)7 Jul 97


   Quick Summary: The patient was in psychiatric intensive care for acute psychosis. The nurse nevertheless did a complete physical assessment. A temp of 103o made the nurse suspect an infectious process, which she reported to the physician. SUPREME COURT OF NEBRASKA, 1997.



   A patient with a history of psychiatric problems and drug abuse was admitted to psychiatric intensive care, believed by his physician to be suffering from acute psychosis.

   According to the Supreme Court of Nebraska, the patient’s nurse was still correct in doing a complete nursing physical assessment. Follow-up medical evaluation of the high fever the nurse detected showed the patient in fact had severe acute viral encephalitis. Vilcinskas vs. Johnson, 562 N.W. 2d 57 (Neb., 1997).