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In the realm of healthcare, prompt and effective intervention during critical situations is paramount, especially when dealing with patients who require constant respiratory support. The incident involving an RN’s failure to appropriately respond to a patient’s declining oxygenation levels and inability to troubleshoot a disconnected ventilator underscores potential harm to the patient. In such challenging circumstances, a nurse attorney becomes an indispensable ally for RNs. The nurse attorney can meticulously examine the circumstances, evaluate the facility’s protocols, and construct a robust defense strategy. Their role extends beyond legal representation; they act as advocates for the nurse, ensuring fair treatment and due process.

At the time of the initial incident, she was employed as an RN with a home healthcare services provider in Bryan, Texas, and had been in that position for two (2) years and six (6) months.

On or about August 7, 2021, while employed as an RN with a home healthcare services provider in Bryan, Texas, RN failed to appropriately intervene when the patient had declining oxygenation saturations down to twenty-eight (28) percent. Specifically, RN was unable to troubleshoot the disconnected ventilator and did not ventilate the patient via bag valve mask as needed. Additionally, RN incorrectly documented that emergency equipment, including oxygen tanks and bag valve masks, were checked at the start of her shift and that the equipment was readily available for use and in working condition. The patient was not manually ventilated until the patient’s mother arrived, located the correct bag valve mask, and called 911 for the patient to be transported to the hospital. RN’s conduct was likely to injure the patient from a lack of required respiratory support.

Without consulting with an experienced nurse attorney, RN responded and states that around 0850 on the date in question, she was preparing the patient’s feeding bag, and the alarms began to sound. RN states that she started looking for the source of the issue but was unable to find a reason for the alarms. RN states that the patient’s oxygen saturation was 94%, and the vital signs, including heart rate, were stable. RN states that she again checked the equipment for any possible leaks that may have been impacting the patient’s full oxygenation saturation when RN states she saw that the tube to the heater was broken, causing the equipment to malfunction. RN states that the patient’s mother had recently changed the equipment during the week. RN states that she showed the mother the broken tube and the mother tried to look for a replacement tube but was also unable to find one. RN states that the mother found the right size Ambu bag and began ventilating the patient. RN states that the patient’s oxygen saturation went from 26% to 86% in less than one minute. RN states that the mother found a new tube and changed it. RN reports that they attached the patient to the equipment that was functioning correctly once again, and the patient responded as his oxygenation rose to 92-94 percent. RN states that the mother then called the paramedics. RN states that she and the paramedics both checked the patient and found that he was reacting well, but the mother insisted on taking him to the hospital.

The above action constitutes grounds for disciplinary action in accordance with Section 301.452(b)(10)&(13) Texas Occupations Code, and is a violation of 22 TEX ADMIN. CODE §217.11(1)(A),(1)(B),(1)(D),(1)(M)&(3)(A) and 22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §217.12 (1)(A),(1)(B)&(4).

A case was ultimately filed against her before the Texas Board of Nursing (BON). The said allegation was fatal to the RN’s capability to perform the essential functions and duties. Sad to say, the nurse attorney who handled her case was not able to properly defend her interests and rights before the Board. The Texas Board of Nursing (BON) found her guilty of the offense alleged in the complaint and decided to place her RN license under disciplinary action.

If you also received a letter from the Texas Board of Nursing regarding a case or complaint filed against you, you should hire a nurse attorney immediately before it’s too late. Texas Nurse Attorney Yong J. An is one of those dedicated nurse attorneys who helped represent more than 500 nurse cases for the past 17 years. You may contact him 24/7 at (832) 428-5679 for more information or if you want to schedule a private consultation.