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Nurse Practitioner (Mother) leaves 21 month old in car for 8 hours

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by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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Nicole, NP, left her 21 month old baby, Remy, in the car where Remy remained until Nicole returned at 4:30 when her shift was over. Remy died and Nicole was left to blame herself forever. How do mistakes like this happen? You are reading page 4 of Nurse Practitioner (Mother) leaves 21 month old in car for 8 hours. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

osceteacher has 15 years experience and specializes in Done it all..

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I don't like the tagline 'this could happen to any of us' because that ain't happening to my kids. I don't really have a massive amount of sympathy for the mother only the child that died.

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20 minutes ago, osceteacher said:

I don't like the tagline 'this could happen to any of us' because that ain't happening to my kids. I don't really have a massive amount of sympathy for the mother only the child that died.

Me too.  I raised five children while working two jobs and trying to go to school...and involved in a bad marriage.   I'm sorry I just don't get it and never will.  Now we need safeguards to help parent?  Call me judgemental all day, I'm ok with that. 

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

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I'm going to get flamed for this, but as another poster put out there, if this was anyone else (man at bar, 18 year old mom, etc) we'd be talking about horrible for the baby, but mom/dad needs punished.  I agree.  It doesn't matter, she was negligent to someone in her care and they died.  I doubt anyone thinks she did it intentionally, but someone still died.  Many of us have discussed another case on here where a nurse was negligent and someone suffered the ultimate consequence.  If we are fair and unbiased, we must apply the same standard, although one was work related, the other was family/personal. Back in the day, I had 2 children, me and hub would often switch days on daycare drop off and pick up duties.  Our kids were never forgotten or harmed.  We were just as busy then as everyone is now.  And in no way, shape or form am I saying electric chair, but she should be punished just like any other person out there. Being a nurse or NP or any other healthcare provider does not make us above any law!

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One more other thing. So let’s say we have alarms for this sort of issue. What happens when it malfunctions?  Who is to blame then?  Relying on technology to parent is a bad idea.  And as much as I can understand it as an extra check you know as well as I do that many will use it as the only check.  

 

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

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1 minute ago, kcochrane said:

So let’s say we have alarms for this sort of issue. What happens when it malfunctions? 

 

Or when the parent becomes "alarm blind" after hearing it beep for the xth time

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LilPeanut has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in NICU/Neonatal transport.

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Which is the same argument for not having any safety measures for nursing.  You have to have a reasonable system which won't replace thinking, but will help if there is a slip. 

There are some safety mechanisms I would think are reasonable, but others that aren't. 

Think of it this way: because of safety precautions, we make parents put their children in a hidden place in their car where they are not visible. And for some parents, that's even a change from when they might have had other kids or driven in a car with other children.

I don't think a single standard measure is out of line. 

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12 hours ago, wondern said:

Hopefully soon all car seats will be required by law to have an alarm built in at the factory. Maybe a wire or bluetooth attached somehow to the drivers door when it opens. Maybe have a little pulse type device built in that you can actually hear the beep beep beep beep of the childs pulse while you drive. Something already! I don't understand why the federal government hasn't demanded it by now. Parents need to demand this law of their congressmen and women. Now that there are more women in Congress than ever maybe we will see some action on this issue. Does anyone know of any laws being proposed for safer alarm built-in carseats to help prevent this from happening? Certainly the technology is out there! So sad for all the parents this has happened to.

https://www.fatherly.com/gear/best-car-seat-alarms/

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Wolf at the Door has 7 years experience.

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Did I turn off the oven before I left for work or Did I lock the door. you go back and the oven is off and the door was locked. You don’t recall doing it. Hell I put something in the oven yesterday and thought my significant other did it but I did. The difference between me and the NP I actually questioned myself and sought reaffirmation. There has been times when I didn’t always check the lock door and kept going. That didn’t involve human being or pet being ok. I don’t buy how you miss the baby when you look in rear view mirror 

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On 4/16/2019 at 1:05 PM, SmilingBluEyes said:

There is a lot of technology available to prevent this. Apps for phones; even vehicles equipped with programs to help people remember to take their kids out of the car.

 

I dunno, I never had this happen. I am so not perfect but---  I did not have to leave my purse or "something valuable and important" like my stupid cell phone--- in the back seat to remind me not to leave my kids to fry in the car. I was a nurse, worked night shifts,  military wife, chronically sleep-deprived, you name it.  I. never. did. this.

I think smart phones/technology have made us stupid.. we’ve become so reliant on technology for just about everything and I’m not sure if it’s for the better.

Edited by Sumdaymurse
Original post did not give a thorough explanation

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hppygr8ful has 15 years experience and specializes in Psych, Addictions, Elder Care, L&D.

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8 hours ago, GSDlvrRN said:

Something was seriously wrong to cause her to have a lapse in judgement. She was exhausted or distracted and totally engrossed in job responsibilities for this to happen. I do not believe this was intentional.

Negligent homicide cases to not require malicious intent. The name implies the neglect was not necessarily intentional but a person still lost their life because of it. This is exactly what's wrong with society in general - Everybody is looking to make excuses instead of taking responsibility!

Hppy

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17 minutes ago, hppygr8ful said:

Negligent homicide cases to not require malicious intent. The name implies the neglect was not necessarily intentional but a person still lost their life because of it. This is exactly what's wrong with society in general - Everybody is looking to make excuses instead of taking responsibility!

Hppy

People can take as much responsibility as they want but it doesn't make them less human. People will still get tired, distracted, go into auto pilot. The question is how to protect kids despite unintentionally imperfect parents? 

Edited by cleback

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hppygr8ful has 15 years experience and specializes in Psych, Addictions, Elder Care, L&D.

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Just now, cleback said:

People can take as much responsibility as they want but it doesn't make them less human. People will still get tired, distracted, go into auto pilot. The question is how to protect kids despite unintentionally imperfect parents? 

I mean really, we all wouldn't need seat belts if we all could just drive safely. C'mon folks.

You all know my opinion - I'll not take the bait of name calling etc.... My siblings all of whom worked full time jobs have managed to raise 21 children and none of them ever got left in the back seat of a car. From the time my son was born I have always had him in the back of my mind - always aware of where he is and how he's doing.  Even when I was stressed and tired this would have never have happened to a child of mine. 

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