Brainless People!

  1. Need some advice on something.... I have a rezzie who smokes, is on oxygen continously, and has been told by MD that he is not medically stable to drive his vehicle, but still does. We have tried to explain to him that he is not to be doing this, he has been told repeatedly by the doc to not do this, also. We have even talked to law enforcement about it also, they told us that we need to have the MD sign a statement that he is not able to drive. Oh, by the way, he has 2 big O2 tanks in the back of his pick up. He did agree at one point in time to give us his keys, but he got them back somehow and won't give them back. This person likes to sign himself out, go get his money from the county and then go and gamble it away, and buy cigarettes. We have talked to our social service people, but not much is being done with it.

    Also, he is going outside to smoke with his O2 on! Talk about a huge lawsuit waiting to happen! Hope I'm not there when he blows up the place.

    My issue is this.... I won't put my name on his sign out sheet, because I feel that I'm giving him permission to go, but then I'm told I can't refuse to let him go, even tho I know he is not medically stable enough to be doing this.

    Just need some advice and to vent. My license is not worth losing because of his stupidity!
  2. Visit mickeypat profile page

    About mickeypat

    Joined: Apr '06; Posts: 51; Likes: 15

    49 Comments

  3. by   KellieNurse06
    Well....he's an adult.....what are you going to do? Stop worrying so much about it......unless he is a danger to others while driving there's not much you can do.
    As for the oxygen....he isn't going to "blow" the place up on one little tank or portable stroller of liquid 02, if anything he'd probably burn his own lungs if it sparked., .........I always used to think oxygen couldn't be in the same room as even a candle being burned .........it's all blown waaaay out of proportion.
    I have an aunt who is now deceased, but was one of those elderly smokers on oxygen like you are mentioning here......smoked for years while on 02.........of course we were scared...but nothing ever happened thankfully, plus we couldn't babysit 24/7.. she did what she wanted to do...
    Hey if he does I guess he'll learn from it, right?
    Maybe he feels his independance will be taken away if everyone is trying to tell him what to do...............think how you would feel if you were him.....
    I say don't worry too much about it........and just go about your day. as you do..........just make sure you document document document.....and reinforce why he shouldn't do these things......good luck!
    Last edit by KellieNurse06 on Sep 13, '06
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Maybe he feels his independance will be taken away if everyone is trying to tell him what to do
    That's what i thought as well. Maybe this is the man's way of retaining control over his life.
  5. by   ginger58
    Oh, by the way, he has 2 big O2 tanks in the back of his pick up.

    It's not the smoking with oxygen I'd be worried about. If those tanks ever got banged around they could be torpedo like and kill some person.
  6. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from ginger58
    Oh, by the way, he has 2 big O2 tanks in the back of his pick up.

    It's not the smoking with oxygen I'd be worried about. If those tanks ever got banged around they could be torpedo like and kill some person.
    The State Police might pull him over if they knew abouot this, landing him in even more trouble.
  7. by   Danianne
    I hust thought that I might point out that 02 will not "blow up" all it does is allow a fire that has started to burn more intensely and if it does get too close to the tank then there could be an explosion due to the pressure on the tank no the O2 itself
  8. by   ginger58
    Quote from Danianne
    I hust thought that I might point out that 02 will not "blow up" all it does is allow a fire that has started to burn more intensely and if it does get too close to the tank then there could be an explosion due to the pressure on the tank no the O2 itself
    I'm talking about a tank flying off the truck or falling. There was an OR patient killed on the OR table when a tank fell over and it blasted through the room like a missile.
  9. by   mickeypat
    Let's put it this way.... I don't want myself or my family on the road when he's driving! Cause ya never know when he's gonna run low on his portable and those big tanks won't do much good when he can't get them turned on.

    Another dumb question.... don't ya have to lite a cigarette with a lighter? I've seen cannulas melted into someone's face when they were smoking with the O2 on... not a pretty site!

    This person is a vunerable adult, in the nursing home because he can't take care of himself at home.... I'm not willing to lose my license because I allowed him to do something that he wasn't suppose to do.
  10. by   Meerkat
    Ugh...
    This is EXACTLY how my father was killed. He should never have been driving...too old, non-compliant, etc. The only thing he didn't have was the
    O2 tanks. He wrecked at an intersection into two other cars. Thank goodness no one else was hurt. He died the same day of injuries.
    If you can't keep your rez off the road for his own sake, PLEASE tell him to consider the rest of us out there.
  11. by   LauraF, RN
    This is a very difficult situation. If he is his own guardian, and he is signing himself out when he leaves, read what he is signing. Ours are waivers. That the resident/guardian is assuming responsibility for what happens to this resident.

    Technically it is his legal right to smoke. Technically if he is his own POA or guardian he has the right to sign himself out. One option, but it would involve social services, and the admin, he could be deamed incompitent and be appointed a guardian. Otherwise in the state's eyes he can continue to do what he is doing.
  12. by   leslie :-D
    i don't know how she did it, but my mil got my fil's drivers' license taken away.
    i was there the day the letter from the rmv arrived.
    he was a danger to himself and others, on the road.
    would this situation apply?

    leslie
  13. by   ginger58
    We have even talked to law enforcement about it also, they told us that we need to have the MD sign a statement that he is not able to drive.
    I would be working on the doc. I feel like this is the same as having to report abuse...it is a professional responsibility to get this guy off the road. They (the doc and patient) are putting peoples' lives at risk.

    Are these tanks highly visible and bolted down?:uhoh21:
  14. by   steelydanfan
    Quote from mickeypat
    Need some advice on something.... I have a rezzie who smokes, is on oxygen continously, and has been told by MD that he is not medically stable to drive his vehicle, but still does. We have tried to explain to him that he is not to be doing this, he has been told repeatedly by the doc to not do this, also. We have even talked to law enforcement about it also, they told us that we need to have the MD sign a statement that he is not able to drive. Oh, by the way, he has 2 big O2 tanks in the back of his pick up. He did agree at one point in time to give us his keys, but he got them back somehow and won't give them back. This person likes to sign himself out, go get his money from the county and then go and gamble it away, and buy cigarettes. We have talked to our social service people, but not much is being done with it.

    Also, he is going outside to smoke with his O2 on! Talk about a huge lawsuit waiting to happen! Hope I'm not there when he blows up the place.

    My issue is this.... I won't put my name on his sign out sheet, because I feel that I'm giving him permission to go, but then I'm told I can't refuse to let him go, even tho I know he is not medically stable enough to be doing this.

    Just need some advice and to vent. My license is not worth losing because of his stupidity!
    Ok, you have a resident that is intractable, so you TRY to do what is necessary to get the MD to sign a statement banning him from driving. He already has voiced his opinion,get it in writing.That's all you need to solve the problem. Grow some guts, girl. How will you feel when this resident goes out to poker night and kills a family of five because of his hypoxia?
    And how will your family feel when they are impoverished due to lawsuits you could have prevented by notifying the Ombudsmon and the State Board of your concerns?
    You CAN refuse to let him go, as an RN, you have legal and justifiable powers as an expert to intervene if you feel necessary.
    Just try answering this in a courtroom: "You knew the pt. had COPD, was dependant on oxygen,knew the resident physician had declared him unsafe to drive, but let him leave anyway".
    My bet is that you would be on the hook for a million dollars.

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