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In pediatric healthcare, the safety and well-being of young patients take precedence above all else. This responsibility becomes even more critical when providing complex medical care, such as tracheostomies for breathing assistance. Any lapses in care or deviations from established protocols can have severe, life-threatening consequences, which raise concerns about the nurse’s professional conduct and patient safety. When faced with allegations of this nature, it is crucial to seek legal counsel, specifically that of a nurse attorney. A nurse attorney will advocate on behalf of the RN, ensuring that their legal rights are protected and their perspective is accurately represented. This approach will help address the situation effectively and in the best interests of all parties involved.

At the time of the initial incident, she was employed as an RN with a pediatric health care services provider in Harlingen, Texas, and had been in that position for six (6) months.

On or about May 21, 2021, while employed as an RN with a pediatric health care services provider in Harlingen, Texas, and providing private duty nursing services to a pediatric patient, RN failed to timely and appropriately intervene and follow emergency tracheostomy orders when the patient experienced respiratory distress and became cyanotic, including failure to suction and change the tracheostomy tube; failure to administer supplemental oxygen; and failure to use an Ambu bag to manually ventilate the patient. Subsequently, emergency medical services (EMS) were called, and on arrival, the patient’s oxygen saturation level was at 46%; interventions were then performed by the patient’s mother and EMS staff including suctioning a mucus plug from the tracheostomy, changing the tracheostomy tube, and administering oxygen, which brought the oxygen level up to the 80’s. The patient was transported to the hospital by EMS and ultimately expired. RN’s conduct was likely to injure the patient in that improper resuscitation and emergency care techniques may result in ineffective lifesaving treatment.

In response, the RN stated that on the date in question, sometime after 0845 a.m. she heard the patient cry out and saw her in her crib with an arm and leg extended. She called out for help and checked in the mom’s room and found no one; she turned back to the patient’s room and found the patient limp and unresponsive. RN stated that she carried the patient out of her crib and into the living room, yelling for help, before returning to the patient’s room and laying the patient on the floor. The RN stated that she could not feel a pulse so she immediately started chest compressions and used her mouth to ventilate the patient’s tracheostomy tube. RN stated that at some point, a family member appeared and RN asked him to call 911 and get the Ambu bag. RN stated that ultimately the police department showed up, and then EMS. RN stated that the trach was changed after EMS arrived. The RN deliberately gave all these responses without consulting first with an experienced nurse attorney to handle her case.

The above actions constitute 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)(C)&(1)(M) and 22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §217.12 (1)(A),(1)(B)&(4).

However, without enough evidence to prove she was not guilty, the RN lost the case. This is the reason why the Texas Board of Nursing placed her RN license under disciplinary action.

If you ever undergo cases such as this, it’s best to seek the assistance of a good nurse attorney as it could make the case better in your favor. Be sure to find a nurse attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in several nurse cases to ensure the best assistance possible. Texas Nurse Attorney Yong J. An is willing to assist every nurse in need of immediate help for nursing cases.  To contact him, please dial (832) 428-5679 for a confidential consultation or for more inquiries.