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Patient dies under care of fill-in nurse in Oakland, CA

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by scecile scecile (Member)

2,251 Visitors; 27 Posts

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This is why hospital chain Sutter Health needs to end the lockout in California and allow the experienced nurses back into the hospitals. The CEO Pay Fry can make that call right now but he's keeping the doors locked to RNs.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=%2Fc%2Fa%2F2011%2F09%2F24%2FMNKA1L97H6.DTL&tsp=1

Patient dies under care of fill-in nurse in Oakland

Will Kane,John Wildermuth, Chronicle Staff Writers

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A female patient at an Oakland hospital died early Saturday due to what the hospital described as a "medical error" made while she was under the care of a replacement nurse hired during a labor dispute.

The nurse allegedly gave the woman a fatal dose of medication, said Cynthia Perkins, a spokeswoman for the Oakland Police Department. The nurse, who was not identified, was taken in for questioning by officers.

Police and state medical officials are investigating the death at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, which occurred while most of the hospital's regular nursing staff was locked out after a one-day strike Thursday.

The investigations, as well as an internal inquiry, are standard procedure in an incident of this kind, said Carolyn Kemp, a spokeswoman for the hospital.

In a memo to the hospital staff Saturday, hospital CEO David Bradley admitted that a medical error was responsible for the death at the Summit campus in Oakland.

"This is a tragic event, and we have expressed our sorrow and sympathy to the patient's family," he said.

Edited by TheCommuter
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6,828 Visitors; 210 Posts

"The nurse allegedly gave the woman a fatal dose of medication, said Cynthia Perkins, a spokeswoman for the Oakland Police Department"

Talk about throwing the nurse under the bus before an investigation has concluded, let alone started.

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oramar works as a returned nurse.

1 Article; 32,278 Visitors; 5,758 Posts

What do you expect, have you ever known management to admit they created conditions under which errors were more likely to occur? We see it again and again, the blame seems to fall on the last person who has contact with patient and that is the nurse. Study after study has show that a series of errors usually occurs before the error is committed by the nurse but the body under the bus usually belongs to a nurse.

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5,408 Visitors; 146 Posts

Man! how terrible for the nurse. S/he went in there hoping to make a quick buck from crisis staffing and s/he ends up majorly screwed and her body left outside for vultures to devours. Sucks!

Yes,,,and terrible for the patient and her family.

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NurseShelly has 5 years experience and works as a RN.

4,623 Visitors; 119 Posts

What do you expect, have you ever known management to admit they created conditions under which errors were more likely to occur? We see it again and again, the blame seems to fall on the last person who has contact with patient and that is the nurse. Study after study has show that a series of errors usually occurs before the error is committed by the nurse but the body under the bus usually belongs to a nurse.

Exactly! Why facilities are so reluctant to do a root cause analysis when errors occur is beyond me. Wouldn't it be easier in the long run to prevent tragic errors such as this one? It's as if the powers that be don't see how taking such measures could benefit everyone all around- better patient care, save money, prevent tragedy, etc.

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3,000 Visitors; 45 Posts

Tragic ending for all involved, but medication errors can happen to ANYBODY. Not just because the nurse involved happens to be there under strike conditions. Don't blame the strike - blame the environment, low staffing, high stress, punitive nature of the beast.

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nursel56 has 25+ years experience and works as a Home health, private duty.

15 Likes; 1 Follower; 43,113 Visitors; 6,643 Posts

I'm sure I will get royally flamed for saying this ---- but whether you are pro-union or not, this story most likely came as a result of the ANA-CNA contacting the media for a story, like they did when they tried to get all the LPNs fired in Newhall. They are advancing their point of view at the expense of the "fill-in nurse" who is really no different than a travel nurse, or an agency nurse. Are people dropping dead left and right in hospitals that employ travel or agency nurses?

Aren't we supposed to abide by a few rules of fair play --- wait until we get all the facts before we announce that "fill-in" nurses are incompetent? How is it ethical for them to say,

"The first thing I thought was, it was murder - I hate to be so graphic, but that was my first impression," said nurse Alicia Torres, who works in Summit's oncology unit and has spent 27 years at the hospital.

A fellow nurse said that. How sad.

Heaven help this nurse if she ever makes a serious mistake. I used to think maybe it was possible for all nurses to coalesce and use numbers to influence policy, but now I know it will never happen.

I'm talking not about the policies of hospitals, just smearing somebody you've never seen, about a case that occurred while you were not even in the building.

Here I'll start . . .:flamesonb:flamesonb:flamesonb

Edited by nursel56

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2 Likes; 22,023 Visitors; 4,266 Posts

I'll keep the hose on for ya, nurse156 :)

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Penelope_Pitstop has 13 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

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I'm curious as to what the med was...as well as the dosage and route.

Was this a wrong patient? Was it an overdose of prescribed meds? Did this nurse give KCl IVP instead of IVPB?

There are several errors involving medications that could be fatal. To call something murder, if the error was that, AN ERROR (Heparin labels looking alike, for example) is ridiculous. For strong accusations of that nature, well, I think we need to know more about this story.

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Esme12 works as a emergency ,critical care,cath lab,open heart,traum.

16 Likes; 3 Followers; 3 Articles; 145,731 Visitors; 20,896 Posts

I'm going to be very nterested in the outcome form the investigation. What med, How much, Who ordered, Who mixed it.

The walk out,unions, and who hired the replacements and checked credentials.

Very interesting...

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Esme12 works as a emergency ,critical care,cath lab,open heart,traum.

16 Likes; 3 Followers; 3 Articles; 145,731 Visitors; 20,896 Posts

Or if pharmacy mixed it......

Very interesting.....

but of course the first reaction should ALWAYS be to publicly throw nurses under the bus....:uhoh3:.

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