i'm in the last semester of my rn program in california and an issue came up at one of our clinical er sites regarding forced
blood draws for dui (driving under the influence) and i wanted to get input from other rns regarding their state, hospital and what your laws are regarding such issues.
so, what is the protocol for your hospital regarding forced
blood draws (where the person does not
consent)? who initiates, who approves, who signs, who does it, under what specific conditions, is it ever allowed, can the rn refuse, etc, etc?
Quote from West_Coast_Ken
Hi Ann, thank you for your reply. This is an interesting situation.
In this case there was no injury. It was a "minor" hit and run and the suspect was apprehended afterward. He was brought to the ER for medical clearance to go to jail (tetanus, etc) and there was no need for other medical treatment so a blood draw was not needed (other than for the DUI issue).
There were 8 police and they screamed at the RN to "Draw his blood" "You can not refuse to take his blood", etc. The RN refused to do this since the patient did not consent to the procedure.
I believe the RN did the right thing.
The way I understand it, even if the RN had drawn blood for hospital tests, the police can't take one of the tubes nor have the results. They would have to go through medical records with a court order to get the results.
What we've always called a "legal blood draw" is when the cops provide the little kit...vacutainer, betadine wipe, blood tubes, chain of custody forms, etc. The patient would still have to give consent for the draw or risk losing their license. Now if someone was killed or critically injured in the MVC, I think that changes the issue...I just can't remember specifics.
The important thing to remember is that you work for the hospital, under your license from the nursing board. You are not a police department employee. Maybe checking with your Risk department is a good idea to know the specifics.
Like I told the police officer that wanted me to dig through a bedside commode (post-charcoal) for crack rocks wrapped in cellophane: "I don't work for your PD. Here are the gloves."
Last edit by sjt9721 on Feb 26, '07
: Reason: grammar