Man catches Home Nurse's tragic mistake

  1. 2 LONDON (Oct. 26) -- A shocking video captures the moment that an undertrained home health care nurse mistakenly turns off her quadriplegic patient's life-support machine. That disastrous action, and a succession of further medical blunders, caused 37-year-old Jamie Merrett to go without air for 21 minutes, leaving the Englishman severely brain damaged.

    In 2008, though, he started to become increasingly concerned over serious errors made by nurses operating his ventilator, his sister Karren Reynolds told the BBC. He sent off several e-mails to local health bosses, and -- after his concerns weren't acted on -- asked for a camera to be installed in his bedroom so he could record any accidents.

    The grainy footage has caused outrage in the U.K. and left many Britons worried about the quality of care they might receive at the hands of the thousands of private-agency nurses hired each year by the National Health Service (NHS).

    Aylward has since been suspended and placed under investigation by the nursing watchdog. Aylward will not face a criminal prosecution, The Telegraph reported today, as she did not intentionally set out to harm her patient.

    The agency that employed Aylward, Ambition 24hours, told the BBC that it couldn't comment on the case while an internal investigation was ongoing. However, a report into the accident by local social services -- which was leaked to the British broadcaster -- concluded that the company was fully aware it had been required to supply a nurse with training in the use of a ventilator, but that it didn't have adequate systems to check its employees' skill levels.

    And the British Patients Association has criticized the NHS for failing to institute its own safety checks and follow up on Merrett's e-mails. "The NHS has been warned repeatedly about ensuring the staff it hires, agency or otherwise, are suitably trained to look after their patients, and we have campaigned for many years for an NHS that listen to its patients' concerns," Katherine Murphy, the organization's chief executive, said in a statement. "To think that this person was so worried that they installed a camera in their own home, but that their concerns were apparently ignored [is] outrageous."
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Oct 28, '10 : Reason: comply with copyright and TOS
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  3. Visit  EmergencyNrse profile page

    About EmergencyNrse

    EmergencyNrse has '17' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Emergency Medicine'. From 'Atlanta, GA'; 48 Years Old; Joined Sep '09; Posts: 657; Likes: 1,611.

    49 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  EmergencyNrse profile page
    6
    Socialized medicine at its best... or worst.
    pinksugar, DizzyLizzyNurse, RetRN77, and 3 others like this.
  5. Visit  RNDreamer profile page
    1
    in 2008, though, he started to become increasingly concerned over serious errors made by nurses operating his ventilator, [color=#004173]his sister karren reynolds told the bbc. he sent off several e-mails to local [color=#004173]health bosses, and -- after his concerns weren't acted on -- asked for a camera to be installed in his bedroom so he could record any accidents.

    unfortunately, his fears were well-founded. just a few days after the webcam was set up early last year, it filmed nurse violetta aylward accidentally switching off the ventilator. in the video, the life-support system can be heard emitting a long, loud beep, causing aylward to shout for help. a care assistant rushes into the room and asks the nurse: "what have you done?" aylward replies, "switched this off."


    http://www.aolnews.com/world/article..._lnk1%7c180565
    RetRN77 likes this.
  6. Visit  merlee profile page
    92
    This has nothing to do with socialized medicine. It has everything to do with sending undereducated, undertrained personnel out on their own, and making them feel bad when they have questions. Saw it way too many times; told all the nurses I precepted to call me ANY time they had questions. Never told administration about all the calls I got unless I saw a trend.
    Never ate my young, and am very proud that many of my colleagues felt I was a good resource.
    TriceRN, oliviajolie, resumecpr, and 89 others like this.
  7. Visit  TakeOne profile page
    33
    Quote from EmergencyNrse
    Socialized medicine at its best... or worst.

    How did this article lead you to that conclusion? It has nothing to do with "socialized medicine" (egalitarian access to treatment no matter one's financial status) and every thing to do with poor/non-existent screening and supervision of employees. It can happen anywhere, whether there is socialized medicine or not. That's why there are regulations and standards in the industry, and have been for decades.
    TriceRN, DolceVita, smoke over fire, and 30 others like this.
  8. Visit  tryingtohaveitall profile page
    5
    This is so tragic I couldn't stand to watch the entire video. Heartbreaking, that poor, poor man and his family. The nurse had a responsibility to learn how to take care of the trach and ventilator, even if she hadn't been properly trained before being assigned his case. It sounds like this had gone on for some time, for the patient to become concerned enough, make several calls, receive no response and then install the video camera. I cannot imagine why the nurse wouldn't have sought out more training so that this tragedy didn't occur.
    Katie5, cherryames1949, talaxandra, and 2 others like this.
  9. Visit  babyNP. profile page
    3
    This is so horrible.

    I don't understand how she couldn't piece together that the ambu bag goes where the trach was, though. I mean, she must've had no idea what a trach actually was in order to make that mistake.

    And when he clicks his tongue because he knows he's going to become hypoxic...so tragic. This poor family.
  10. Visit  himilayaneyes profile page
    11
    That video was hard to watch. I hate to see patients hurt. This is a prime example of why undertrained, under-qualified nurses shouldn't be hired to go into people's homes or as agency nurses. You have to be adequately trained first...perhaps by having a full time job for a year. And this has nothing to do with socialized medicine and everything to do with an agency that didn't verify the credentials of its' employees.
    Mrs. SnowStormRN, Quark09, Jarnaes, and 8 others like this.
  11. Visit  tyvin profile page
    3
    Ok; I think the person who made the comment about socialized medicine gets it.

    Anyway why is she not being criminally charged? When someone gets into an car accident and someone dies many times they are charged with manslaughter because there was a loss of life with no intent to murder; an accident. She should be charged with some type of criminal act IMO. It was a crime how she nonchalantly turned off the ventilator and walked away with the bell ringing. This makes us all look bad.

    I have seen it all and this only adds to the many horrible, shocking things I have witnessed nurses doing to patients in home health and the hospital. I will never understand why someone would do something they have no idea of how to do and do it anyway especially when it involves the life of a human being.

    When she walked into the house on assignment with this man and saw the vent she should have not taken report and called her boss. If she had no experience with vents why in the blazes did she take the shift? Very bad, very bad.
    Mrs. SnowStormRN, RetRN77, and nursenow like this.
  12. Visit  jrwest profile page
    10
    Quote from merlee
    This has nothing to do with socialized medicine. It has everything to do with sending undereducated, undertrained personnel out on their own, and making them feel bad when they have questions. Saw it way too many times; told all the nurses I precepted to call me ANY time they had questions. Never told administration about all the calls I got unless I saw a trend.
    Never ate my young, and am very proud that many of my colleagues felt I was a good resource.
    This.
    I am going through this right now. orientation done. I guess I should know it all , cause every time I ask a question now, i get the" you should already know this". well if I already knew this, i wouldnt be asking now, would I. then the supervisor gets told that I asked questions. Makes me really want to keep asking questions now. Which is why I'll be leaving this particular area soon.
    As for the nurse doing wrong- I do blame the agency for turning them loose. And the nurse for not saying she didnt feel qualified. I just wonder if she had brought this up before and got"eaten " for it
    kaliRN, lilaclover, netglow, and 7 others like this.
  13. Visit  wee_oneRN profile page
    5
    I think the bigger picture is that it was not just this ONE nurse. He installed the camera because of several bad experiences. And, as the article states: "many Britons worried about the quality of care they might receive at the hands of the thousands of private-agency nurses hired each year by the National Health Service (NHS)".
    The comment about socialized medicine has a great deal of truth to it. There was no other option for this man! Instead of calling another company he was forced to install cameras and watch as a national health organization destroyed his life.
    The article makes it clear that it was not just one nurse. Yes, that nurse should have been better prepared, should never have taken the assignment, should have familiarized herself with the equipment first. But, why did he have to install cameras? Why did he have to complain about several nurses and not have his concerns addressed? Why couldn't he choose another company? And finally, why wasn't the agency suspended? They were clearly at fault just as much as the nurse.
    kcochrane, RetRN77, Leda1st, and 2 others like this.
  14. Visit  momandstudent profile page
    8
    Quote from jrwest
    This.
    I am going through this right now. orientation done. I guess I should know it all , cause every time I ask a question now, i get the" you should already know this". well if I already knew this, i wouldnt be asking now, would I. then the supervisor gets told that I asked questions. Makes me really want to keep asking questions now. Which is why I'll be leaving this particular area soon.
    As for the nurse doing wrong- I do blame the agency for turning them loose. And the nurse for not saying she didnt feel qualified. I just wonder if she had brought this up before and got"eaten " for it
    I hear the fear in your post. I actually had thought about applying for a vent homecare position right after graduation but my gut kept telling me not to. My friend did and she loves the client and the technicalities of the position but she had her fears at the beginning too (she is since doing great and there have been no problems). I guess I don't like it when agencies are so gung-ho on hiring nurses to an area out of the comfort zone without many, many hours of training.

    I had talked to a friend earlier this summer who is a case manager for an agency. She told me they had a position in my area for a vent and she would hire me if I wanted it. I asked her how long the training was and she said 3-4 hours... And then they send you on your merry way. I asked how many days I would orientate with a nurse...NONE. I would get a "mini" training from the outgoing nurse as I was coming on for the shift. No thank you...my kids and I will eat weiner water soup rather than subject my license to that kind of stupidity.
  15. Visit  babyNP. profile page
    2
    Quote from wee_oneRN
    I think the bigger picture is that it was not just this ONE nurse. He installed the camera because of several bad experiences. And, as the article states: "many Britons worried about the quality of care they might receive at the hands of the thousands of private-agency nurses hired each year by the National Health Service (NHS)".
    The comment about socialized medicine has a great deal of truth to it. There was no other option for this man! Instead of calling another company he was forced to install cameras and watch as a national health organization destroyed his life.
    The article makes it clear that it was not just one nurse. Yes, that nurse should have been better prepared, should never have taken the assignment, should have familiarized herself with the equipment first. But, why did he have to install cameras? Why did he have to complain about several nurses and not have his concerns addressed? Why couldn't he choose another company? And finally, why wasn't the agency suspended? They were clearly at fault just as much as the nurse.
    The NHS is not the only way for British folks for health care. There are plenty of private companies...

    Regardless, this shouldn't have happened, but I don't feel as though it's because of socialized medicine. It's because this agency or others don't have good enough standards.
    Kooky Korky and fionaFL like this.


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