Medical News: Offering to Pay for Patient’s Well-Being Gets Nurse Suspended.

Huh? Are you kidding? No, this is for real.

I just wrote a blawg post about a Las Vegas jury that failed to follow the law in finding no negligence when a man enters the E.R. complaining of chest pain, isn’t even examined for 41” minutes and then died of a heart attack on the E.R. floor. No negligence? Are you kidding? What are people thinking? Are they thinking? The more conservative people get the dumber they act. Here is an excellent example of idiocy in action in the medical profession.

This blawg post is about a nurse by the name of Caroline Petrie, from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset who is being disciplined for offering to pray for a patient. That’s all she did. She offered to pray for a 70-year-old patient. She didn’t pray for the patient, she only offered to pray for her to get better. And for that this married mother of two young boys has been suspended. If the 70-year-old patient complained she should be ashamed. For the employer, who should have just listened and gone on about their day, they should be sacked. So what is wrong with what she offered to do? Is there room in medicine for a belief in a God? Or does offering to pray offend the profession? Let’s look at the definition of a nurse and then a few medical miracles followed by the professional standard she is accused to have offended.

A nurse by Merriam-Webster’s definition is a professional who cares for the sick or infirm; specifically: a licensed health-care professional who practices independently or is supervised by a physician, surgeon, or dentist and who is skilled in promoting and maintaining health. Wikipedia defines nursing is a profession focused on advocacy in the care of individuals, families, and communities in attaining, maintaining, and recovering optimal health and functioning. Modern definitions of nursing describe it as a science and an art that focuses on promoting quality of life as defined by populations, communities, families, and individuals, throughout their life experiences from birth through the end of life. Several of my friends and acquaintances in life have been physicians. Some have described patients getting better when the most advanced medical opinions say they should be dead. That said many doctors I know pray for their patients. I’m by no means a Bible thumping Christian, but I do believe in God. If someone close to me were dying I’d pray for them. Medical miracles are nothing new. Here are a few.

Are There Medical Miracles?

discovery of Penicillin - Penicillin, the first effective antibiotic, was discovered in 1928 almost by accident.

The treatment for Glaucoma - Millions of people owes their sight to Percy Julian, the African American chemist who transcended racial bias to revolutionize the treatment of glaucoma. Born in Alabama in 1899, Julian was barred from the local public school's college preparatory program because of his race. Nonetheless, he excelled academically and gained admittance to DePauw University in Indiana. As he departed for college, his grandfather, a former slave, waved goodbye with a three-fingered hand — the missing fingers had been severed as punishment for learning to read. After earning his doctorate at the University of Vienna in Austria, Julian returned to DePauw. In 1935, he synthesized physostigmine, a natural substance used to reduce pressure in the eyeball caused by glaucoma, which can lead to blindness. The feat cut the cost of the drug from hundreds of dollars per drop to a few cents per gram, making treatment widely available and earning Julian worldwide acclaim. When DePauw declined to appoint him to its faculty, Julian left academia and joined the Glidden Company. There, he used his knowledge of chemistry to make a variety of products from soybeans, including the hormone progesterone and fire-fighting foams used during World War II. In 1948, he developed a new way to synthesize hydrocortisone, still used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Birth Control – synthesis of the first birth control pill in 1951.

Discovery lead to treatment for diabetes - In a brilliant collaboration Gerty and Carl Cori studied how the human body metabolizes glucose. Their development of the "Cori cycle," the biochemical process by which the body reversibly converts glucose to glycogen, explained how carbohydrates supply energy to muscles during exercise and how carbohydrates are regenerated and stored until needed again by the muscles. In subsequent decades they made many significant discoveries which clarified carbohydrate metabolism. Their work advanced the understanding of the inter-conversion of sugars and starches and proved particularly useful in the development of treatments for diabetes.

Treatment for tuberculosis - The Waksman team isolated about twenty antibiotics, the most prominent of which was streptomycin, the first effective pharmaceutical treatment for tuberculosis. Unlike the chance discovery of penicillin, streptomycin was isolated in 1943 by Albert Schatz using screening protocols developed by Waksman.

DENVER, Colo. -- Miracles do happen. That's what doctors said about 30-year-old Shannon Malloy. A car crash in Nebraska on Jan. 25 threw Malloy up against the vehicle's dashboard. In the process, her skull became separated from her spine. The clinical term for her condition is called internal decapitation. Oh my God, it's a miracle," said Malloy. "It's a miracle that she was able to survive from the actual accident. It's a miracle that she's made the progress that she's made," said Ghiselli.

Medical Miracle? Woman Wakes After Heart Stops, Tubes Pulled, by Karlie Pouliot

Doctors are calling it a medical miracle. A West Virginia woman, who suffered two heart attacks and had no brain waves for more than 17 hours, suddenly woke up, reports Val Thomas’ doctors say they honestly can’t explain how she is alive today.

“Her skin had already started to harden and her fingers curled,” Thomas’ son, Jim, told “Death had set in.”

Her family said goodbye and doctors removed all tubes. However, Thomas was kept on a ventilator a little while longer as an organ donor issue was discussed. Ten minutes later the woman woke up and started talking.

Saving Your Life: Modern Medical Miracles’ - In a weeklong series, NBC's ‘Today’ show features technological breakthroughs in medicine.

Health Care Blog ( I quote )  reporting on a New York Times report of a miracle - On December 7th, Alcides Moreno and his brother Edgar, window washers, fell 47 stories down the side of the Upper East Side apartment building they were working on. His brother was killed instantly, but Alcides survived, consuming 24 units of blood and 19 units of plasma. In a coma, he went through 9 orthopedic operations, and then amazingly - I'm not making this up - awoke on Christmas Day. More incredible still, Mr. Moreno is now on a path to full recovery, at least from the looks of it, walking and talking as he did before his fall. This has prompted Dr. Philip Barie, the chief of the Division of Critical Surgery at the hospital where Mr. Moreno is being treated to comment, “If you believe in miracles, this would be one.”

This one is worth quoting again from the New York Times article as reported by James Barron, ‘Miraculous’ Recovery for Man Who Fell From Sky’, Surrounded by doctors who had helped save her husband, Mrs. Moreno told her story at a news conference at which medical professionals with long years of experience in treating traumatic injuries used words like “miraculous” and “unprecedented” to describe something that seems remarkable: a man who fell nearly 500 feet into a Manhattan alleyway is now talking and, with a little more luck, a few more operations and some rehabilitation therapy, may well walk again. “If you are a believer in miracles, this would be one,” said Dr. Philip S. Barie, the chief of the division of critical care at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan, where Mr. Moreno, 37, is being treated.

Try to Explain the Unexplainable

Kim Peek: Idiot Savant – Photographic Memory

Savant Syndrome - Daniel Tammet – Miracle Mathemetician

Savant syndrome, Beautiful minds, Alonzo Clemens – Miracle Sculpturer

Miracle Musical Savants - autism, blindness, pianists

The Human iPod!, as seen on 60 Minutes

Savant Syndrome

Stephen Wiltshire the Living Camera - Savant Drawings

Stephen Wiltshire: the human camera now is in Japan!

So what is the standard she allegedly fell below?

On this occasion, the patient's care giver, who was with him, raised concerns over the incident. Alison Withers, Mrs. Petrie's boss at the time, wrote to her at the end of November saying: "As a nurse you are required to uphold the reputation of your profession.

"Your NMC [Nursing Midwifery Council] code states that 'you must demonstrate a personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity' and 'you must not use your professional status to promote causes that are not related to health'."

Hmmmm… Is this boss trying to justify his job? Get a grip, get a life, and find someone else to pick on. This is a waste of everyone’s time. With all the problems in the hospitals with real malpractice and “never events” you’d think this boss would have better things to do. How about paying attention to wrong site, wrong-procedure or wrong-patient surgeries? Or how about paying attention to stopping Serious Reportable Events?

“The Institute of Medicine estimates that each year in the United States our healthcare system wastes up to 98,000 lives, 2.4 million extra hospital days and $9.3 billion in excess charges due to “serious reportable events”; put plainly, errors/mistakes that were easily preventable.”

Serious Reportable Events

Surgical Events

  • Surgery performed on the wrong body part
  • Surgery performed on the wrong patient
  • Wrong surgical procedure performed on a patient
  • Unintended retention of a foreign object in a patient after surgery or other procedure
  • Intraoperative or immediately postoperative death in an ASA Class I patient

Product of Device Events

  • Patient death or serious disability associated with the use of contaminated drugs, devices or biologics provided by the healthcare facility
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with the use or function of a device in patient care in which the device is used or functions other than as intended
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with intravascular air embolism that occurs while being cared for in a healthcare facility

Patient Protection Events

  • Infant discharged to the wrong person
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with patient leaving the facility without permission
  • Patient suicide, or attempted suicide, resulting in serious disability while being cared for in a healthcare facility

Care Management Events


  • Patient death or serious disability associated with a medication error (e.g. errors involving the wrong drug, wrong dose, wrong patient, wrong time, wrong rate, wrong preparation or wrong route of administration)
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with a hemolytic  reaction (abnormal breakdown of red blood cells) due to the administration of ABO/HLA – incompatible blood or blood products
  • Maternal death or serious disability associated with labor or delivery in a low-risk pregnancy while being cared for in a healthcare facility
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with hypoglycemia, the onset of which occurs while the patient is being cared for in a healthcare facility
  • Death or serious disability associated with failure to identify and treat hyperbilirubinemia (condition where there is a high amount of bilirubin in the blood) in newborns
  • Stage 3 or 4 pressure ulcers acquired after admission to a healthcare facility
  • Patient death or serious disability due to spinal manipulative therapy
  • Artificial insemination with the wrong donor sperm or wrong egg

Environmental Events

  • Patient death or serious disability associated with an electric shock while being cared for in a healthcare facility
  • Any incident in which a line designated for oxygen or other gas to be delivered to a patient contains the wrong gas or is contaminated by toxic substances
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with a burn incurred from any source while being cared for in a healthcare facility
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with a fall while being cared for in a healthcare facility
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with the use of restraints or bedrails while being cared for in a healthcare facility

Criminal Events

  • Any instance of care ordered by or provided by someone impersonating a physician, nurse, pharmacist, or other licensed healthcare provider
  • Abduction of a patient of any age
  • Sexual assault on a patient within or on the grounds of a healthcare facility
  • Death or significant injury of a patient or staff member resulting form a physical assault (i.e., battery) that occurs within or on the grounds of a healthcare facility.

I can say only one thing in this instance, I think we should all offer to pray for Nurse Alison Withers. Pray that she gets a new job and a life.

Be the first to comment!
Post a Comment