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B.C. nurses call 911 to deal with collapsed man

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by blackadder111 blackadder111 (New Member) New Member

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freesia29 has 5 years experience as a LPN and specializes in Urgent Care.

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I am Canadian but living and going to nursing school in the US, I can not believe this story. The threat of litigation in Canada is not nearly as it is in the US, unless that has changed in the 6 years since I lived in BC. If this is a case of hospital policy, it's disgusting and needs to be changed. Is this what Canadians are paying up to 50% income tax rates?????

Would it have been so difficult to call the ER and have someone pick him up?? Or even just give the son a wheelchair to put him in himself so he could bring him down? It certainly would have been faster than waiting for paramedics.

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Liddle Noodnik has 30 years experience and specializes in Alzheimer's, Geriatrics, Chem. Dep..

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This thread is kinda weird, pot shots at LPN's/RN's/Canada/Counties/California, etc etc.

Anywhere I've worked (USA/MAINE) we are not to treat visitors but we ARE supposed to respond! Call 911 AND respond. Don't just stand there like a deer in the headlights. If someone collapses anyone in their right mind is going to start CPR I should think! Also be able to report to emergency responders just what happened, when they arrive. This is crazy!

911 would be able to transport to the ER, start the medical record, gather data, notify the person's physician, etc. But to not do anything at all, that is just cold, and WRONG.

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It saddens me folks are making assumptions based on so few facts. It's a news story and the word of one person. We don't even know what was wrong with the man. Did a code blue need to be called because someone "collapsed"? What did 911 responders have to do upon arrival? Did then man require CPR? Unless I missed something, we don't know any of this. Has the 911 call been released? I did a quick search and didn't find it. I would be curious to hear it.

We've all worked with what we feel are cold or less than competent nurses and unreasonable family members. What did we have here? We really don't know. All we can do is question and if we don't know if our facilities have a protocol for a downed non-patient, use this as an eye-opener to find out and decided what we would do in this situation!

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Conqueror+ has 22 years experience.

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I am a US nurse and I have been told on more than one occasion during orientation that I am NOT to touch any non-patient while on duty. Apparently once I clock in I become "representative" of my facility and anything that I do the facility can be held liable for. I found it odd at first but I can see shady employee's pulling law suit scams .

Edited by Conqueror+
sp

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from a comment to the article referred to in the op

"....upon some further investigation ... i learned a couple of things. fraser health authority has created a policy that requires medical staff to call 911 in situations like this if the patient has not yet been admitted to the hospital. why? wcb will not cover medical personnel if something were to happen to them while interacting with a person who had not been admitted to the hospital."

so, assuming the statement above is accurate---

how does this work when a woman in labor, comes in by private vehicle, and is crowning in the back seat?..... do the docs and nurses stand inside the ed doors and call 911? :confused:

or what about the person who walks into the ed and 3 feet inside the door, suddenly begins to seize, stop breathing, have an mi, etc, before they even get to triage --- can they be treated, since they haven't been admitted???

maybe they'll get lucky and ems will already be there after transporting another pt. but, then there's probably another ridiculous rule that they can't respond either, unless they have been properly dispatched via 911 dispatchers. :uhoh3:

just another thought:

do they have mandated "good samaritan" laws in canada, that require medical personel to render aid to the extent that they are able? for a nurse, it would mean doing more than just calling ems and staring at the sick/hurt person sympathetically.

seems to me that the hospital would be pretty stupid to have & enforce any policy that would prevent medical staff from obeying the law.

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686 Posts; 6,079 Profile Views

We have to call security and have them transfer the patient to the ER to be admitted. It's a liability issue and while it seems out there I can understand the reasoning behind it.

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8 Posts; 1,096 Profile Views

I can't believe that these nurses just called 911 and waited for paramedics to arrive. It should be second nature for health care providers to step in whenever they see someone in need of medical help. I believe that that's why we all have come into this profession, to help and care for others. This is a sad story that is a bad representation on nurses.

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Fiona59 has 18 years experience.

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I know in my province there are usually EMS personnel in the ER, they are required to stay with their patient until the patient has been admitted to a treatment bay. It's not uncommom to have seven waiting with their patients. Those EMS professionals are quick to offer assistance to anyone trying to get to the triage counter.

As for the WCB thing. It's true. Our WCB laws are incredibly restrictive. If you are wearing Crocs and injure your feet, your claim can be denied because you are required to wear closed heel/toe shoes on the job. Forget to take a bedrail down and injure your back? Your claim can be denied because you did not ensure a safework site.

BC has (or used to have) some of the strongest and most strident unions in Canada. Working to rule used to be the norm out there. It's a funny province. Nicknamed "LaLa Land" by much of the country.

But again we only have the son's version. If it was a trip in the elevator, his son could have assisted him. No need to call a "code blue" because the son wanted one. Many facilities require that any fall be dealt with by the Fire Service. We don't have all the details and are never likely to have them because of provincial privacy laws.

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3 Followers; 4,310 Posts; 34,383 Profile Views

Sarah, that is one of the worst slams towards LPNs by a nursing student that I have ever read. Every LPN must be a holder of a current CPR certificate to work, just as their RN counterpart must hold a valid certificate. I've never had a patient I've coded say "jeesh, I wish an RN had done my chest compressions".

First, there had to be a Charge Nurse present on the unit who would have had the ultimate decision and will be held responsible. Secondly, the hospital administrator in the story seems to be on board with what his staff did or did not do.

I've participated in a similar scenario when a patient coded in an elevator near my unit. One unit (staffed only by RNs) didn't respond at all because they were on workplace accomodations (we couldn't believe that was their reason).

I know in my hospital, you code everyone. If they are outside or in the parking lots you call 911 and start CPR.

No unit is ever without a Charge or an Acting Charge.

Workplace Accommodations? What is that?

Charge might have been in restroom, tied up in pt's room, off the floor for some reason.

Staff are not covered if not helping patients with whom they have a nurse- pt relationship, therefore, have a duty to help patients. Helping anyone else would come under Good Samaritan laws and you can't force anyone to act and to risk being sued for doing something wrong. No duty to help exists toward a non-patient. Scary, sad, but true.

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Vanillanut has 6 years experience as a DNP, RN, APRN and specializes in Emergency, Internal Medicine, Sports Med.

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I am an RN who currently works for this particular health authority, but not at this hospital. I also hold a US license.

All I can say is all the facts clearly are not here, and the story has been manipulated for the media. This is not the way things are run in our province. If someone goes down inside the hospital (ie "hospital grounds") you assist. There is simply too much missing information to say anything.

I can say I highly doubt things are as they have been presented to us through the media, based on the training/orientation I received. Generally speaking I feel good about the care my hospital and others in this authority provide, and I can not complain about my job in any way- and I work in Emergency. RN's in this country must have a bachelors degree to practice (unless they are grandfathered in from an older generation of nurses) and, having been educated in BC also, doubt that this is all there is to this scenario.

I will say I have seen many families/family members try to "twist" the truth in many aspects to try to dramatize situations, as we all have probably seen.

I suspect there will be further investigation into this matter, and if it turns out the nurses were neglectful then of course they should be held accountable. As I said though, I don't think the entire case is presented.

I would also like to say one thing: Shame on nurses who perpetuate the notion of LPNs being inferior to RNs, or BC being a poor place to practice/having a superiority complex. BC is a fantastic place to live and work, as is other places I have worked. This health authority is overall very reputable and from what I have experienced a good place to work. I have seen numerous visitors "go down" (syncope, seizures, what have you) and every single one of those visitors got treatment just like anyone else.

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Darkfield has 4 years experience.

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I'm not sure what our policy is, but I hope no one would let a policy stop them from doing cpr. We have a SWAT team in our hospital to respond to patient emergencies in places where the nurses aren't accustomed to dealing with things like rapid intubations, or to assess patients whom nurses are concerned about. I know that if a visitor is feeling poorly and asks the nurses for help, we will call swat and have them take the pt to the er. I'm not sure, but I think if a pt collapsed and had no pulses/breaths, we would code and go to the er. At the least, we should be covered under good Samaritan. I hope we don't have some stupid policy prohibiting us from providing emergency care.

I am interested at the hospitals in which nurses stated they would call 911 and have paramedics get the person to the er. Wouldn't it be a whole lot faster just to transport him down with internal staff? Unless you have paramedics wandering around at your hospital, which we don't. I don't think.

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36 Posts; 1,032 Profile Views

I haven't read all the replies here but I will say this. At my hospital, current "new" policy by the administration is that if someone goes down even standing on the front sidewalk to the ER (on their way in), no one is to touch them. We're supposed to call 911. So the paramedics can show up and drag them 10 feet inside where the ER will take over. It's stupid.

Not allowed to do courtesy BP checks either. If they don't want to sign in and pay for an ER visit (complete with copay), we are to refer them to Wal Mart or someplace that does it for free.

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