Nurse who silenced baby's heart alarm struck off
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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