Kansas And Missouri Licensing Attorney Cautions Medical Professionals To Be Aware Of Fatigue

Even the best nurses can make mistakes. A Canadian nurse learned that lesson the hard way recently. The nurse was feeding a child born prematurely who also had developmental problems caused by his premature birth. The baby, who was only a few weeks old at the time, fell out of the nurse’s arms during a feeding early in the morning. The child was severely injured in the fall. Kansas and Missouri professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger cautions medical professionals especially, but other professionals as well, to watch out for the signs of fatigue. Injuries or death a patient can occur from inattentiveness or forgetfulness due to fatigue and exhaustion.

The Toronto Sun reported that the incident took place on February 20, 2017, at about 3:00 a.m. The child was born several weeks early just before Christmas 2016. Although his twin went home, the boy needed continued hospital care because of a lung condition caused by his premature birth. The boy fell out of the nurse’s arms when she fell asleep during the feeding. The boy tumbled to the floor. The nurse awoke when the boy started crying after striking the floor. The nurse followed hospital protocol. She sought a consult from the on-call pediatrician. The doctor examined the baby and determined he was uninjured. The nurse called the baby’s mother around 8:00 a.m.

The parents went to the hospital to check on their son. Again they were informed by another pediatrician that their son was uninjured by the fall. The mother persisted in obtaining further medical opinions. She was proved right. The boy had an ultra-sound and a CT-scan. The test results revealed that the boy suffered a fractured skull from striking the floor.

The child’s mother expressed dismay and disbelief over the nurse’s and hospital’s response to the situation. The boy’s parents were outraged that the nurse called five hours after her son’s fall. Additionally, they were incensed because the hospital refused to perform diagnostic testing to determine if he was injured. The mother also wonders why a nurse caring for special needs children in a facility designed to care for at-risk babies would chance going to work so tired that she fell asleep in the middle of her shift.

The hospital has defended the nurse. The hospital stated that the no disciplinary action would follow. The hospital reiterated that the nurse was an excellent caregiver with an exemplary record. The hospital also noted that the nurse followed hospital protocol. There is no word yet as to whether any Canadian licensing board would seek to take adverse action against the nurse’s license.

The preceding story, while tragic, can happen to the most diligent health care provider. The nurse’s professional rules of conduct in both Kansas and Missouri prohibit nurses practicing healthcare if their mental, emotional, or physical condition is compromised. Therefore, it is wise to take some time off if you feel fatigued. It happens to everyone, and there is no shame in it. Healthcare facilities should encourage the practice. Doing so will cut down on avoidable accidents and injuries to patients receiving care from less-than-attentive nurses and other healthcare professionals. The facility has a duty to ensure that it is sufficiently staffed to look after its patients. Staffing levels are not necessarily the nurse’s immediate concern. The overall care of their patients must take precedent.

Dedicated Professional Licensing Attorney Ready To Assist You

Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger zealously represents all of her clients. She has extensive experience defending professionals facing licensing discipline and investigation. Call Attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 for a consultation today.