Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession (3)11 Aug 95


   Quick Summary: Not all injuries that occur in a hospital, nursing home or other health care facility are the result of professional negligence.  It could be ordinary or simple negligence, the Court of Appeals of Georgia ruled.

During a transfer from a wheelchair to her bed, an elderly nursing-home resident being helped by a nursing assistant was injured when her foot was caught in the bed rail. 

   The transfer of a patient from a wheelchair to bed is not an aspect of a patient’s care which must be performed by a person with medical or professional nursing training. Because the negligence claim in this case was "ordinary" rather than professional negligence, there would be a longer statute of limitations than the short Georgia statute of limitations for professional health care negligence. Expert testimony would not be required to prove negligence, all making it easier for the victim to sue. Moore vs. Louis Smith Memorial Hosp., 454 S.E. 2d 190 (Ga. App., 1995)