Patient Bites Nurse's Fingertip Off

  1. LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A man who was arrested for biting off the tip of a nurse's finger spoke out about the incident Monday.

    Trent Taylor, 20, discussed his actions with NewsChannel 32's Allison Gardner in an interview at the Jefferson County Jail.

    Taylor said he ended up at _________ Hospital Sunday after a drunken fight with his best friend.

    "I was so drunk, I don't know why we got into a fight or what the fight was about," Taylor said.

    Police said it was at the hospital that Taylor intentionally lifted his head toward a nurse and took a bite out of her second finger. Police said Taylor then told the nurse, "That's what you get," Gardner reported.

    Police said the nurse's finger was completely severed and the tip was found in her glove. Trent said he doesn't remember anything.

    "People make mistakes, and I can understand if I was sober and I was just being mean, but I was drunk. I was scared. I didn't know what was going on," Taylor said. "I could never do something like that intentionally to anybody."

    University Hospital administrators said the nurse lost about a one-fourth to one-half inch of her finger, which doctors were able to reattach.

    Taylor apologized for his actions, Gardner reported.

    "The whole time I've been sitting here just wishing I could take it all back. (I) ask God, 'Please let me go back in time, I promise I'll change it all.' I feel horrible for this you know," Taylor said.

    Taylor has an outstanding warrant for domestic battery. He was arraigned Monday morning and pleaded not guilty, Gardner reported.

    Taylor is charged with first-degree assault, a class B felony, punishable from 10 to 20 years in prison, Gardner reported.

    OK, so this happened last August where I work. The nurse who got her fingertip bitten off is a very good nurse, and is highly regarded here. The clincher is this: She had the guts to prosecute this guy, and now his counter-attack is that he was wrongly restrained (he was placed in the padded room, because he was violent and dangerous to himself and others, and after repeated attempts to leave the room, taking his dressings off, and after spitting in a Tech's face, was also placed in 4 point leathers.) His atty is saying that he was wrongly restrained, because he was docile for the <60 seconds it took to get his leathers on. He conveniently "didn't remember" biting her finger off, but he remembers pleading to "just be left alone to calm himself." Now this nurse might have to answer to the BON to justify her actions, and her license might be in jeopardy. This just burns me up! This is what she gets for having the guts to prosecute an abusive patient? Does anyone have any info on how I and other local nurses can back her up? Who do we address for this, or do we wait until the court case is over? I just hate seeing this happen to an outstanding nurse, or to other nurses that might face a similar situation.
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    About BBFRN

    Joined: May '02; Posts: 8,317; Likes: 6,285
    Nursing Faculty; from US
    Specialty: 15 year(s) of experience in Trauma,ER,CCU/OHU/Nsg Ed/Nsg Research


  3. by   Nurse Ratched
    Lg - please pass on to her that if MORE nurses had the guts to do what she did, abuse like this would happen less. This psych nurse who has had to take down more than a few drunk/drug-addled patient, takes her cap off to her. In the same position, I would have done the same thing. He CHOSE to get drunk and likely knew that he was a mean sonofabee in that state, so yeah, it was premeditated.

    I hope he gets the full sentence. And shame on the BON if they suggest she did anything wrong.
  4. by   BBFRN
    I take my hat off to her, too! So far, the BON hasn't weighed in on this, but a local news channel interviewed 2 Legal Nurse Consultants who poo-pooed over the padded-room surveilance tape, and agreed with the atty that the patient was treated unfairly! I emailed the news director re: their show of bias toward the perpetrator on their account of the situation. Here it is:

    message: With all due respect, I was appalled at the coverage your
    program did on "abuse" of a patient at _________hospital. First, I would
    like to point out that the guy spat on someone, and then proceeded to
    BITE another nurse's FINGER OFF! You're biased experts also stated that
    there was no reason to restrain the patient, as he was docile at the
    time. The patient had taken his dressings off a few minutes before, and
    was attempting to leave the room. This could be considered as being a
    danger to himself and to others. He was placed in the padded isolation
    room for a reason. Do you think he was in there in the first place,
    because he was docile??? I also noticed that the towel the nurse had
    "put around his neck" was placed under his jaw- preventing him from
    further spitting- not choking him, PLEASE! This guy was not hurt as a
    result of their behavior, but a staff member was. This is what she gets
    for having the guts to prosecute this guy for biting her finger off??? !
    Do you realize how many nurses are abused by drunk/high and beligerent
    patients in hospitals every day, only to be told there is nothing they
    can do about it? Did you show the nurse getting her finger bitten off?
    If he is capable of this, what would he have done if he hadn't been
    restrained?? I also noted how he conveniently didn't remember biting
    her finger off at all, but he remembers clear as day asking to be
    allowed to calm down. PLEASE!!! Also note the fast speed of the
    security tape- it can make movements appear to be more violent than they
    actually are at a normal speed. I'm sure you are patting yourself on
    the back for doing such great undercover work on this situation, but
    what you did was show bias toward the perpetrator of a violent crime,
    who came out of this unharmed. As employees, the hospital staff had a
    right to attempt to prevent a violent attack against them in the
    workplace. What would you do in a similar situation at your workplace?
    Let somebody
    continually impose violence on you (and I'm sure he was being violent
    and beligerent PRIOR to the taping, since he was placed in the padded
    room in the first place), or try to protect yourself by restraining the
    person? Are nurses held to higher standards involving treatment of
    dangerous patients? Yes! Are news professionals held to higher
    standards regarding getting the whole truth out in a story, and avoiding
    bias? Yes! Otherwise, you become The Inquirer, don't you? Where is
    the rest of the story? Why can't you address the issue of unreported
    violent acts committed against nurses every single day right here in
    your hometown? And finally, why did you minimize the fact (not
    conjecture, or opinion) that this nurse got her finger bitten off???
    Your coverage of this was sorely lacking.

    And here is the reply I got:

    Thanks for your message, despite your criticism we do appreciate viewer
    comments. While I don't expect you to agree, I felt it important to
    write you a response, since you took time to write to us.
    WAVE-3 takes great care with every story, and did so especially in this
    case, to make sure we are fair and accurate. In this instance we went
    to extreme measures to fine qualified experts who would give us an
    unbiased opinion, based on their professional expertise. I believe the
    story did that, and more. The story also left no doubt that the patient
    was drunk and violent. Had the experts said the hospital staff did
    exactly what was proper, that was what we would have aired. We have no
    agenda, other than to tell and expose the truth.
    Moreover, ________hospital officials were given three opportunities to
    explain and justify this action, they chose to reply only be way of a
    written statement. We cannot let their refusal to address this issue
    stand in the way of what is an important story.
    As I mentioned, I don't expect this to change your opinion. But we are
    always open to criticism, and we appreciate that you watched WAVE-3
    Chris Jadick - News Director

    If anyone would like links to the story, I will provide them here, or if anyone else would like to email this guy, let me know- I'll put his email addy up, too. Thanks for the reply, Nurse Ratched!
  5. by   nialloh
    He proved that he was a danger to others by his actions, and that being restrained was appropriate. If he got loose and did harm to others outside, the hospital would have been held responsible. The nurse was fully justafied in using restraints.
  6. by   roxannekkb
    I would love to email this guy. This is just the type of action that scares nurses from fighting back. I would hope that every nurse in the hospital rallies around her, and hope against hope, that management would support her as well. Please post the contact info, igflamini.
  7. by   BBFRN
    I agree, Nialloh, but I'm wondering why 2 Legal Nurse Consultants would state opinions to the contrary. How much are we supposed to take before we are allowed to restrain a patient? We get a lot of drunk and beligerent patients in my hospital, and if they are acting this way when they get up to my floor, I can imagine what they're doing in the E.R. before they're admitted! We are JCAHO accredited, so it's not like we don't follow their restraint protocols as it is- are we going to have to worry about getting sued as well every time we restrain somebody? I know that I'm not going to risk getting jacked in the jaw just to take care of somebody who chose to get drunk and beligerent, and I can't refuse to take care of said patients. So, if they win on this issue, it's like the courts will be saying we are wrong to restrain someone in instances such as this, and it's her fault she got her finger bitten off.
  8. by   nrw350
    Please forgive me for this uneducated question as I am not a nurse. For patients like why can't you just sedate them so that they are not a threat to people? Thanks.
  9. by   BBFRN
    Yes, if you have an order to sedate them, and that's if the meds work in the first place. OK, working on that link....
  10. by   nialloh
    My question is how many "Consultants" did the news service go through until they got the 2 they wanted. I can't see any nurse who ever worked in a hospital to have their view.
  11. by   BBFRN
    There's his email addy, and here is the link to the story that got me so riled up:

    Let me know what you guys think.
  12. by   BBFRN
    Originally posted by nialloh
    My question is how many "Consultants" did the news service go through until they got the 2 they wanted. I can't see any nurse who ever worked in a hospital to have their view.
    Yes, that's where I have a problem, too. The newscaster was very careful in saying that they paid the Nurse Consultants for "viewing the tape," but NOT for their opinions of it. Hmmm...This news station also has a history of reporting on abuse victims, GSWs, etc. that we have placed here under aliases, and telling the world that the victims were admitted to this hospital, thereby placing them and us in further danger. This was before HIPPA, though.
  13. by   funnygirl_rn
    Originally posted by nialloh
    My question is how many "Consultants" did the news service go through until they got the 2 they wanted. I can't see any nurse who ever worked in a hospital to have their view.
    My sentiments exactly!!! I sure hope her fellow co-workers rally behind her & speak out. Is the hospital helping her at all?! Thanks lgflamini for email address & web site of story. Will send an email.
  14. by   BBFRN
    I believe the hospital is helping her- if not only to save their own skin. She's a long time employee, and the backbone of the ER, IMO. If they don't back her up, I imagine a mass exodus here- especially in the ER. Who wants to be told we have to take this kind of abuse? I would also like to note that this nurse is 100 lbs soaking wet, and is known as someone with a very cool head- not as someone who would fly off the handle at all.