"Cleaner Polishes Off Patients"

  1. This is true story from the newspaper The Cape Times (South Africa):

    "For several months, our nurses have been baffled to find a patient dead in the same bed every Friday morning" a spokeswoman for the Pelonomi Hospital (Free State, South Africa) told reporters.

    "There was no apparent cause for any of the deaths, and extensive checks on the air conditioning system, and a search for possible bacterial infection, failed to reveal any clues. However, further inquiries have now revealed the cause of these deaths..."

    "It seems that every Friday morning a cleaning lady would enter the ward, remove the plug that powered the patient's life support system, plug her floor polisher into the vacant socket, then go about her business. When she had finished her chores, she would plug the life support machine back in and leave, unaware that the patient was now dead. She could not, after all, hear the screams and eventual death rattle over the whirring of her polisher".

    "We are sorry, and have sent a strong letter to the cleaner in question. Further, the Free State Health and Welfare Department is arranging for an electrician to fit an extra socket, so there should be no repetition of this incident. The inquiry is now closed." (Cape Times)

    The headline of the newspaper story was, "Cleaner Polishes Off Patients"

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    About Schnazer

    Joined: Mar '03; Posts: 6
    from CA


  3. by   caroladybelle
    Well documented as an urban legend.
  4. by   Schnazer
    Thank you for the reply... I got that story by email and it does sound too far out to be true. It's good to know my gut feeling was right!
  5. by   RNonsense
    I saw that story on one of those TV shows about urban legends...creepy though!
  6. by   stressedout
    I am going to take a non-traditionalist position, there are so many people out there "on the floor" that; without training really aren't aware of what they are doing. That's a sad thing. Something that needs to be addressed by politicians, nurses, doctors, etc. It just shouldn't happen.
  7. by   sunnygirl272
    ok...that may be an urban legend..but this DID happen....i was there...
    back when i was a hospital nurse, we had a vent-dep end stage copd in a room(double room) by the desk....right where we could get to her quick when the vent was alarming, also freq stops by just to check in and reassure her...she went through a wide variety of roomies during her time....One roommate she had was a confused, demented LOL...who was with it enough to realize that the noise that was disturbing her was coming from that big machine plugged into the walll....and she UNPLUGGED it...yeah...we switched rooms around purty quicklike....
  8. by   SharkLPN

    Gotta love those demented LOLs to keep you on your toes!
  9. by   suzy253
    Certainly not as much as a serious problem as this but when I was working as a secretary the cleaning lady would come in and run the vacuum and would always unplug my computer from the outlet, thus losing all my work. arrrrgggghhhh