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The undead patient

Hold up!

See that little date above?

This post was published years ago.

My opinions have changed over time: I think it's quite fun to keep old posts online so that you can see how that has happened. The downside is that there are posts on this site that express views that I now find offensive, or use language in ways I'd never dream of using it today.

I don't believe in airbrushing history, but I do believe that it's important to acknowledge the obvious: some of what I've written in the past has been crap. Some of it was offensive. Some of it was offensively bad. And there's may be some brass among the muck (you can make up your own mind on that).

Some of what I've presented as my own views has been me—wittingly or unwittingly—posturing without having considered all the facts. In a few years, I'll probably think the same about what I'm writing today, and I'm fine with that. Things change. People grow. Society moves forward.

The internet moves on too, which means there might be broken links or embedded content that fails to load. If you're unlucky, that might mean that this post makes no sense at all.

So please consider yourself duly warned: this post is an historical artefact. It's not an exposition of my current views nor a piece of 'content' than necessarily 'works'.

You may now read on... and in most cases, the post you're about to read is considerably shorter than this warning box, so brace for disappointment.

From the MEN:

A NURSE who began preparing a “dead” patient for the undertakers when she was sitting up in bed alive and well has been thrown out of the profession.

A colleague pointed out she had got the wrong person, and Lelis said: “Oh yes. I got mixed up.”

The committee found that the “mistake” did not amount to misconduct, but they ruled that she should be struck off for making a series of other errors which did.

Those included carrying out a test for the killer bug MRSA – by swabbing the wrong part of a woman’s body.

She also put another patient on an oxygen because his nostrils were flared, although there was nothing wrong with his breathing.

The committee also heard how Lelis forgot to give a patient his medication – but then wrote up that she had the day after. She was caught out when she said she had given him a 150mg tablet, although they were only in 50mg doses.

Lelis was cleared of trying to offer a woman Paracetamol two hours after taking Co-Proxamol pills, which would have left the patient at risk of having a Paracetamol overdose.

That’s bad enough, but just read the comments from other nurses:

Staff in the NHS are rushed so much to meet targets etc and by patients to be seen to, there is bound to be mistakes!

Mistakes? A patient who is ‘sitting up alive and well’ being prepared for the undertakers is not a mistake many people would make however rushed they are to meet targets.

What a shame that aperson honest enough to own up to her mistakes has been judged so harshly by her own so called compassionate profession.

Honest enough to write up tablets she hadn’t given?

Everyone makes mistakes. Just because the mistakes of those in healthcare professions tend to have bigger consequences should not necessarily mean they are judged more harshly. We should forgive honest errors; but there is a line between mistakes and downright incompetence and dishonesty. If this press report is as it first appears (which may very well not be the case), then it seems that this nurse crossed that line.

This post was filed under: News and Comment.

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