Thursday, 15 July 2010

Nurses thought anorexic teenager who died in their care 'was just sleeping'

An anorexic teenager under 24-hour hospital supervision died in bed - in front of nurses who thought she had just fallen asleep. Rachael Stubbs, 17,was on the highest level supervision and should have had her hands and neck in full view of nurses at all times at the private Cheadle Royal Hospital, in Cheadle, Greater Manchester, an inquest heard. A coroner is now writing to health bosses, saying observations 'were not carried out properly'.

The teenager went to bed face down and began to make heavy breathing noises 'like she was hyperventilating', on January 13, 2008. Nurses, who should have been within arm's reach of Rachael at all times, did not intervene and 15 minutes later the noises stopped, but they assumed she had fallen asleep. Nurses on the Meadows Unit dialled 999*; when they realised she was not breathing 10 minutes later

Stockport deputy coroner Joanne Kearsley said: 'I find from the evidence that the (level four) observations were not being carried out correctly. I accept that this was a particularly difficult time for the unit and the staff who have to deal with distressing and difficult patients and situations, but I fail to find any reason why the guidance was not followed. Perhaps of most concern was the fact that CPR was not commenced when Rachael was found. I would expect all staff to be reminded of the importance of this in an emergency situation.'
Source: Daily Mail

* WTF? Aren't nurses supposed to know CPR? Isn't that a bit like the fire brigade calling the fire brigade?

1 comment:

Nurse Anne said...

Knowing how to do chest compressions and mouth to mouth isn't enough. Had they not called 999 they would have been in even bigger trouble,

In a situation like this the patient (in full blown arrest) needed a crash team and a critical care team as well as that kind of equipment. Doubtful they would have had any of this at an eating disorders unit.