Cases involving negligence has been a signature specialty of a nurse attorney when handling cases for some nurses. However, some nurses tend to forget this fact because they really felt like they should be responsible even if they never intended to commit such an error. An RN from Fort Worth was one of them.
At the time of the initial incident, the RN was employed as a Registered Nurse in a hospital in Fort Worth and had been in that position for three years and six months.
On or about January 25, 2019, the RN failed to use an Ambu bag to manually ventilate a patient, who had a tracheostomy and was ventilator dependent, when the patient turned blue and required cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Subsequently, the patient was transported to the hospital by EMS and eventually died.
This issue was filed as a complaint and sent to the Texas Board of Nursing. The Texas Board of Nursing has full jurisdiction in all cases that may affect the status of an RN or LVN’s license in the future. But they advise nurses to attend a hearing first before placing the sentence, which the RN attended for her career’s security.
In response to the incident, the RN states that while she was caring for the patient alone in the home, the patient was putting her fingers in her mouth and seemed like she was going to gag or throw up. She states she checked the patient’s mouth, but there was nothing there. The RN states that the patient’s oxygen saturation started to drop, so she suctioned the patient’s trach, though the saturation continued to drop. The RN states that she increased the patient’s continuous oxygen rate, but the patient continued to desaturate and turned blue even as the oxygen was increased to 4 or 5 liters.
The RN further states that she called 911, and then could barely feel a pulse so she started chest compressions and mouth to mouth ventilation until EMS arrived. She states that she considered using the Ambu bag, but she knew the patient was ventilator dependent and she made the decision instantly in this emergency situation.
The RN adds that the situation was very different from codes she had experienced in a hospital setting, with an entire team to intervene and assume various roles. She states that before a trach change was initiated, the paramedics arrived, though they also did not change the trach. The RN also states that she never stopped trying to help the patient.
The Texas Board of Nursing investigated the RN and suspended his license.
As a result, the Texas Board of Nursing placed her RN license to disciplinary action. It’s too bad that she failed to hire a nurse attorney for assistance if she had every reason to defend herself in the first place. Her defense would have gotten better if he actually sought legal consultation from a Texas nurse attorney as well.
So if you’re facing a complaint from the Board, it’s best to seek legal advice first. Texas Nurse Attorney Yong J. An is willing to assist every nurse in need of immediate help for nurse licensing cases. To contact him, please dial (832)-428-5679 for a confidential consultation or for more inquiries.