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Nurse who silenced baby's heart alarm struck off

Nurse who silenced baby's heart alarm struck off

Daily Telegraph

May 26, 2009

Nurse Nicola Waterfall was struck off after she silenced the emergency alarm on a baby’s heart monitor so she could talk to the parents of another child at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, it emerged today.

Nicola Waterfall ignored the six-month-old’s alarm while working on the high dependency section of a ward at the hospital.

A disciplinary panel of the Nursing and Midwifery Council found Miss Waterfall had been involved with previous incidents of “defective performance” and ruled she was still a “danger to the public”.

The panel ruled the 31-year-old from north London was not fit to practice and she was struck off the register following the incident during a night shift in January 2006.

The hearing was told Miss Waterfall turned off the baby’s emergency alarm so she could talk to the parents of a child in another bed.

The alarm would only sound if the baby’s heart level had fallen to a dangerously low level.

The hearing was told the nurse had been seconded to the ward from another unit in the hospital.

The panel said: "An emergency alarm was sounding because the baby’s heart rate had fallen to a dangerously low level.

“Miss Waterfall’s attention should have been fully occupied with her patient.

“Instead she seems to have given priority to the conversation she was having with the parents of the other child.

“She should not have taken her attention away from her patient, even for a short period.

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  • Tammy_christmas_2002_max50

    Trkrantz

    over 5 years ago

    44 comments

    That nurse should have paid attention to the alarms...They were sounding for a reason. I hope she loses her license and soon.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    LGill

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Because she was "seconded" from another unit in the hospital, I wonder if she had sufficient training and was competent to work in the area. Many hospitals are floating nurses away from their home units to other, less familiar areas and expecting them to work competently. Unfortunately, this type of care will continue until a major event occurs (probably a paitent will have to die, etc) before hospitals stop this practice. As nurses, we are caught in the cross-hairs and may lose our licenses as well. However, every nurse should know that an alarm sounding warrants their attention and should respond in kind...

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    raymoss1

    over 5 years ago

    220 comments

    Sad situation.

  • Frances_y_mama_max50

    rosalinares

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    Thats a shame, shes lucky that wasnt my child she ignored!!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    blackmon44

    over 5 years ago

    54 comments

    I think this nurse used poor judgement, she could have taken the woman to another area and talked with her. That's why they are called ALARMS! they are suppose to make noise. With the economy being like it is this is not the time to be making drastic mistakes such as this. It's sad because she's lost her job and possibly her license.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    vruiz1

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I don't think she should have had so many opportunities to make those mistakes. After the first time her license should have been taken.

  • 100_1796_max50

    peaches22

    over 5 years ago

    54 comments

    such a shame....her license should be take away asap

  • Last_pic_max50

    HerbalNurse

    over 5 years ago

    466 comments

    Sad

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 5 years ago

    how awful

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