A Crying Shame

  1. This article is in this month's Chatelaine magazine, which is a Canadian women's magazine. It talks about an atrocity that happened a few years ago in a Winnipeg, Manitoba hospital and how the situation was handled by the doctors and hospital administration. The nurses involved got the short end of the stick, so to speak.

    I haven't worked in a hospital setting for over 10 years. I currently work in a pediatrician's office and he's really wonderful. In my experience in the hospital, I have seen doctors cover up for other doctors mistakes as well as nurses catch flack for not picking up on doctor's errors. But I have never seen it as bad as this article...where the nursing staff was not only excluded but criticized and even ridiculed.

    I'm curious about this. How wide spread is the problem? Was this an isolated incident or is this something that in varying degrees happens regularly in all hospitals?

    Here's the link to the article. What's your take on it?
    http://www.chatelaine.com/read/news+views/crying.html

    Thanks

    Laura
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   minurse
    wow, what a powerfull story. devistating. I think that any nurse with experience has seen some level of error during their career. I think that even now at the hospital I work patients are being moved from ICU to IICU to GMF sometimes far to quickly and that patient problems have occured. I know that we have experienced increases in re-intubation and other complications far to frequently lately.
  4. by   Jenny P
    How sad that 12 innocent babies had to die before anyone would take the nurses seriously. My heart aches for those families and parents. how can a hospital ignore the nurses who had been there so long and worked so hard for the institution? And how can the doctor still be "practicing"medicine? The anger I feel towards this man and the system that allowed him to take the lives of those children is overwhelming. The legacy of this happening will carry on for a long time; let us hope that the hospital and Canadian system will include nurses in every level of review and inquiry.
  5. by   NRSKarenRN
    Thank you for posting this story. I have seen more artivles in the past 3-6 months reporting on nurses stories/concerns, reportors listening that nurses have a right to be heard and treated as equal members of the healthcare team. Not a dry eye after reading this story. Let's send it to ALL hospital CEO's in the area's where we live as a wake up call. Equally impressive was the publication's guts to print where physican's involved in tthis tragedy are curreently practicing.
  6. by   Mijourney
    Laurasc, you managed to draw a sad face from me for the first time since I've posted on this board. I'm crying about this shame. Thankfully, the nurses, in this case, were diligent and persistent in reporting their concerns. I salute these nurses, these warriors, who stood so bravely in the mist of storm. This case is so... so tragic, so... so many adjectives, I'm almost writeless. As other posters have pointed out, this underscores the need for a multidiciplarian approach and model for patient care with the physician being a vital part of the team. In the US, our quality control parameters established by the government and private entities are supposedly sophisticated enough to properly monitor and regulate for this sort of activity.
  7. by   oramar
    There was a TV show that covered this case. I am sorry I can't remember the name of it. The point it wanted to make was that including or not including nursing in a team approach to health care affected patient outcomes. It also made the point that where nurses were included it was done because physicians insisited on it being done. It sort of underscored the helplessness of the nursing profession.
  8. by   laurasc
    Thank you for your replies. But I still wonder just how widespread this problem is elsewhere? Are nurses being heard where you work? Are the nurses involved in the overall care of the patient and not excluded?

    Another thing that makes me ripping mad is that the doctor, Dr Odim, is still practicing in the US. What kind of quality control parameters allow a doctor to continue to practice in one country when he was directly responsible for the deaths of 12 children in another country? According to the article, this man was a butcher. How can this man still be practicing and in the same area no less??

    Laura

    [This message has been edited by laurasc (edited February 08, 2001).]
  9. by   ICUkids
    Thanks for posting the story. I hadn't heard about it and I work in a major pedi cardiac center! The PICU docs share some of the RN's frustration about the cardiac cases. Even they find out late "incidences" that happened in the OR that make a difference in treating recovery period. One of the surgeons is a micromanager and tho it may irritate some he is always there for questions and answers. But we did have a case years ago about euthanasia. MD vs RN. Guess who was most impacted? We were told it was the difference of the disciplinary actions between AMA and Nsg. Guess I should be proud my profession has higher standards, but the RN's involved in this incident were basically witnesses. Certainly a learning experience!! I do feel I am listened to if only with half an ear, there is a RN anethisiolgist on the cardiac team who is excellent about taking feedback to the OR. We have had our problems but the worst ones have been moved on to other (unfortunate) pastures.
    D.
  10. by   leslie :-D
    Hi Laurasc,

    How I feel your pain, anger and frustration with "the system"...totally stinks, doesn't it? What are we supposed to do in the face of degradation and belittling attempts of recrimination from these egotistical bastards???..... just what these nurses did; persisted in their belief and pursuit of what/who had been grossly mishandled. I truly think that many of us nurses encounter situations all too often, that are at the least, questionable, never mind the immoral and unethical aspects. And many of us acknowledge the incompetencies of certain doctors but tend to doubt our own knowledge and expertise. If something does not feel right in terms of your patient, don't be afraid to question. Do research, investigate (discreetly of course) but question, question, question. DON'T look the other way. Advocate for what and who you believe in. We DO have power. This story is just too tragic for words...
  11. by   Mijourney
    Originally posted by laurasc:
    Thank you for your replies. But I still wonder just how widespread this problem is elsewhere? Are nurses being heard where you work? Are the nurses involved in the overall care of the patient and not excluded?

    Another thing that makes me ripping mad is that the doctor, Dr Odim, is still practicing in the US. What kind of quality control parameters allow a doctor to continue to practice in one country when he was directly responsible for the deaths of 12 children in another country? According to the article, this man was a butcher. How can this man still be practicing and in the same area no less??

    Laura

    [This message has been edited by laurasc (edited February 08, 2001).]
    Hi Laura. Note that the operative word in my post was "supposedly." In my area, doctors will listen to the nurses they are most comfortable with and who has the best track record for quality patient care.

    You ask how this man could still be practicing. It's probably the same way that drug addicted medical professionals can go for years from job to job before they finally get "busted." Perhaps, this man's specialty probably has him part of an elite network of doctors that are protecting him somehow. Just a guess.

  12. by   bbnurse
    There are no adequate words to describe that horror. I do recall seeing a special on that on Discovery channel addressing medical malpractice. It was worse reading the truth from our fellow nurses positions.
    How can we allow this outrage? I too am overwhelmed with sadness and rage and don't know what to say or do. This is a hopelessly sorrowful situation. Oh my.. :confused

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