nurse electrocuted

  1. A nurse called me downstairs to assist with a pt. When she plugged in the O2 concentrator, she was zapped causing her to seize with loss of consciousness for 7-8 minutes. To date, half of her face is still droopy and numb; her arm is still numb; and she sounds like she's still in shock. I don't know the status of the visit with her neurologist today. I'm wondering could these post-electrical injuries be permanent? She says she remembers nothing of the incident... could that be post traumatic stress disorder or an actual neurologic repercussion. I'm worried about her. Any and all input/feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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    About leslie :-D

    Joined: Apr '00; Posts: 24,611; Likes: 35,449


  3. by   mustangsheba
    Electrical shock causes memory loss. That's why ECT is a last resort for mental patients; not only can it impair the ability to think but precious memories can be lost permanently. Good luck with the neurologist.
  4. by   p.rabbit
    Friend of zapped,

    What comes to my mind is what is the hospital doing to assist your friend? This incident is far more complicated than a simple workmans comp claim. Was the equipment faulty in some way? Was the electrical cord damaged? Either the hospital or the manufacturer of the equipment is facing serious liability in the long term physical impairment of your friend and I would suggest she consult a lawyer who might help her recieve some compensatory damages for the harm that she has
    good luck,

  5. by   leslie :-D

    the outlet was found faulty. my friend is not doing well either but at present, is not ready to sue. management is minimizing the 'incident'. the facility is old and over the years, any electrical and plumbing repairs have been mickey-moused via our (non-licensed) maintenance dept. how do you go about making an anonymous report to osha, dph, to request an overall inspection or to even report this incident? what agency would you go to?
  6. by   bestblondRN
    The incident should be reported to OSHA, particularly if the environment in which you work doesn't meet state and federal standards. Is your employer a long-term care facility? If so, the incident should be reported to the state as well--maybe it would prompt a surprise visit and a consequent action plan for improvement, which the facility MUST address. Just because a facility is old doesn't mean that employees should be subject to unsafe working conditions. I hope your friend improves--it sounds as though she sustained a pretty significant shock. Mustangsheba is correct--there are sometimes permanent neurologic sequelae post-electrocution, and it would be no surprise if she never recalls the incident--it's not unlike head trauma victims. I also agree with p.rabbit--the facility has an obligation to make sure that your friend receives all of the medical and psychological care she needs at no expense to her. In addition, there will hopefully be, at very least, compensation for time lost without her having to use her benefit time. That would be the smart thing for the administration to do. If they don't offer that much, I would hope she would seriously consider suing them. Good luck to her and I hope your administration will use this tragic situation to improve the place so history doesn't repeat itself.