Nurse suicide follows infant tragedy - page 5

by babyRN. 33,340 Views | 97 Comments

continued: How horrible for everyone in the situation...she had worked at Seattle Children's for 27 years, the article states.... Read More


  1. 0
    A million kudos to your post. There but for grace of God go us all.
  2. 2
    I feel very bad for her and the family of the infant. She did something any of us could do. This is just awful. You have to wonder if she was tired, distracted, had too many patients, etc. There was still a place in nursing for her. I hate that the very thing she loved most left her hanging. I hope she is with God and now feels peace, love, and forgiveness.
    imintrouble and lindarn like this.
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    deleted
    Last edit by 2longasn on Apr 24, '11 : Reason: redundant
  4. 0
    Quote from babyRN.
    continued: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm..._nurse21m.html

    How horrible for everyone in the situation...she had worked at Seattle Children's for 27 years, the article states.
    Amillion kudos for your post. There but for the grace of God go all of us.
  5. 3
    Quote from DoGoodThenGo
    How horrible and so very sad!

    This is what comes from nurses being thrown under a bus and or demonised by the public, media and everyone else after a tragic outcome due to an error. Well now all those screaming at the time (I too remember the original story), have gotten their pound of flesh.

    Pace, pace Kim. Though you've answered the last call bell, you are now in a place where your entire life's work will be weighed in the balance. *RIP*
    I just looked up the original article, and it looks like all of the nurses were really empathetic at that time and everyone recognized how easy it was to make an error. I guess one lesson that all of us here can take away as students, new nurses, seasoned nurses, is that if a mistake this serious ever does happen, the best thing to do is seek counseling because none of us is immune to mistakes, and none of us will be immune to the guilt that comes along with them.
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    Something about that calcuim chloride infusion doesn't sound right to me. I have to wonder if - Did the hospital have all the safe guards in placeas they sid they did- I kinda think not. Doesn't pharmacy mix all drug infusions- I havent' mixed infusions or reconstituted meds in at least 20 years. What about the infusion pump- was it working properly- alarms. Don't 2 nurses have to check a pump rate together on the inital set up or a change in rate. Shame the BON closed it's investigation. I have to wonder if this nurse with her track record was really at fault at all? Seems mighty odd to me. JMHO
    Esme12, lindarn, leslie :-D, and 2 others like this.
  7. 13
    Quote from kids
    Do nurses honestly think a nurse who causes the death of a patient should get to keep their job?
    If a nurse caused your caused the death of your loved one you want them to keep their job?
    Would you want a nurse who had cause the death of a patient to care for your loved one?
    As a nurse, would you want to share patient care with a nurse who had caused the death of a patient?
    My answer to all 4 questions is no.
    This is a tough one. However, you have to approach it in an evidenced-based way without emotion in order to benefit the patient pool in the best way. Who is more likely to make a mistake: The nurse who has made this mistake after 27 years, or another who has made a similar mistake, but was lucky enough to avoid a fatality? In a practical sense, they may both the same risk to future patients. A med error is a med error regardless of the outcome in the sense that future patients are at equal risk.

    And yet, when you consider it, in all probability (and I suspect data would support this), the nurse who suffered this tragedy would probably be far more alert going forward than someone with a near miss.

    So the answer to your last question in this case is an emphatic "Yes!" Trucking businesses are known for their desire to hire drivers with a single accident, and a clean follow-on record over a trucker with no accidents. Why? Because the trucker was shocked into hyper-vigilance.

    We must also consider the imminent nursing shortage (only temporarily postponed), and the fact that nursing is an art that should be passed from generation to generation. Since you can't learn the art of it in nursing school, nurses like the one we are discussing are a priceless asset in the effort to educate a new (and very green) generation of nurses. Is it wise to waste this vast amount of experience and "sense" for nursing because of this terrible mistake?

    I would say that dismissing her actually caused fatalities in a very real way because of the loss of her experience in the field. If you would gainsay my words, consider carefully before a possible knee-jerk reaction. There is a storm coming in nursing that will peak when we really begin losing the experienced nurses who are so absolutely vital to the education of the newbies, and it scares the hell out of me sometimes. Because to redevelop this vast body of knowledge will be next to impossible.

    Regards,
    Mukfay
    JeanettePNP, LockportRN, OCNRN63, and 10 others like this.
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    This story breaks my heart too Esme12. As many have said, there but for the grace of God go any of us. I can't stop thinking about it.

    How do we as nurses deal with the possibility of making a devastating error? Is it something we should be thinking about more?

    How do we, as mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, deal with the possibility of a fellow health professional making a devastating mistake that results in the death of our own child, parent or spouse?

    How do we reassure our patients that we will keep them safe when the possibility of an error is ALWAYS there? How do we acknowledge to patients and families that errors are possible, without this frightening them, making them angry, or encouraging them to pick up the phone and contact a lawyer?

    Are there degrees of error? Is a calculation error more or less serious than a judgement error or an error caused by inattention or poor staffing or lack of time? Is an error more or less serious because of the outcome or because of the reasons it was made in the first place? Is it more or less or less serious depending on whether the patient is nine, nineteen or ninety? More or less serious depending on the condition of the patient prior to the error being made?

    Should there be some sort of 'no fault' compensation for the patient when serious errors are made?

    Is there a point where the systems, processes, policies and procedures, and checks and balances put into place after a serious error actually stop from us being effective and perhaps even lead to other unforeseen problems?

    We are humans, not perfect beings or machines, there will always be errors and some of them will have fatal outcomes. I've made my share of mistakes over the years, I'm just very very lucky that none of them resulted in permanent harm to the patient.
    NurseShelly, Old.Timer, Esme12, and 2 others like this.
  9. 25
    Quote from kids
    Would you want a nurse who had cause the death of a patient to care for your loved one?
    I'd much rather be cared for by a nurse that knows their own fallibility than with someone who thinks only a "bad" nurse could make a lethal error.
    LaughingRN, NurseShelly, GadgetRN71, and 22 others like this.
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    When I read this thread, my first thought was how sad for the child,the Nurse, and both families. My second thought is that all Nurses are guilty until proven innocent. And sadly this is very true, the employer is all to happy to throw us under the bus to save thier profit line, the BON will judge you on "evidence" provided by the employer (and examined by thier lawyers to give the employer the best chance of getting out of a situation without cost), and you are left to try to present your side of the situation without seeing the evidence against you while the BON insists you sign whatever paperwork they want that usually admitts your guilt (whether you're guilty or not)so it looks like thier looking out for the public.

    But, what everyone fails to see is the severe depression that a Nurse of 27 years, dedicated to perserving and saving the lives of thier patients, goes thru knowing that she (this one time) failed to cause no harm. The hospital (in an effort to minimize the financial cost to themselves) ignored her mental and emotional distress, the BON I''m sure did not even bother to look at her or talk to her about her situation other than to impress her guilt on her. Where was her family, her friends? Did they not see the ramifications of losing everything she worked for all her life(especially those that are Nurses)? Did her lawyers even think that depression can and is a direct result of her situation? She at that point was incapable of seeing her mental statis, those in depression usually don't realize how bad it is until it's to late. For this poor Nurse the entire system failed to protect her from her biggest danger, her own depression. Everyone of us is in the same boat, and it doesn't take much to sink it.

    In this case we all lose, we lose the potential of a child, the knowledge of a veteran Nurse, the chance to effect change that would do good.
    NurseShelly, JustaGypsy, LockportRN, and 9 others like this.


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