Nursing Notes

February 29, 2012

Nurses Get Pushed Around, Again

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shirley @ 12:02 am

I recently read this article about the Kennedy baby and the struggle with these nurses.  Upon first reading, I was confused as to what really happened.  Having been in a hospital with a Code pink is called, I can tell you that hospitals take infant safety extremely seriously.  This entire incident reeks of special interest being upset because they had to follow the rules like every other person in that hospital.

I hope the hospital is prepared to back up these nurses who were simply doing their job and protecting their very young and very vulnerable patients from harm.  Read this article from HealthLeadersMedia

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Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media , February 28, 2012

Aggression involving nurses is at the center of a he-said-she-said dispute that pits Douglas Kennedy, son of the late Robert Kennedy, against the nurses caring for his newborn son. It seems that a misunderstanding between the two parties somehow escalated into a physical confrontation that’s gained national attention.

Kennedy was was arrested on misdemeanor charges of child endangerment and harassment after a Jan. 7 struggle with two nurses at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, NY. According to media reports, the nurses allege that Kennedy twisted one of their wrists and kicked the other when they tried to stop him from taking his newborn son outside for some “fresh air.”

In a statement provided to HealthLeaders Media, the hospital said:
“On January 7th, 2012 an incident occurred involving a patient’s family member and NWH staff members. At Northern Westchester Hospital, patient safety is our priority and we completely support the actions of our nursing staff in this case as they were clearly acting out of concern for the safety of a newborn baby. Out of respect to all parties involved, we are not elaborating on the details of this incident or providing any additional comments.”

Yet the folks in Kennedy’s corner have come out swinging hard against the nurses, saying that they tried to grab at his baby. He calls the allegations against him “absurd” and “sickening,” and says anything he did was simply an attempt to protect his son.

An emergency department doctor and family friend of Kennedy who witnessed the incident, calls the nurses the “only aggressors.” And Kennedy’s lawyer is accusing the nurses of trying to “cash in” on the events, according to media reports.

Surveillance camera footage of the incident shows the nurses trying to block Kennedy from leaving via the elevator and then the stairs. It also shows one of the nurses falling to the floor. The nurses said they called code pink, indicating child abduction.

Kennedy’s attorney, Robert Gottlieb, said in an ABC News interview that his client was only trying to protect his baby. “One of the nurses actually goes to grab the baby. How dare she?”

It’s hard to glean many details about the incident from the choppy security footage. But it seems even harder to imagine why any nurse would want to be an “aggressor” against a new dad.

In contrast, it is easy to imagine why a nurse would do everything she could to protect a newborn and comply with rules that aim to prevent infant abduction.

Although data from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children shows that infant abductions from hospitals are relatively rare—there were only 128 cases of completed infant abductions from healthcare facilities between 1983 and 2010—hospitals obviously take the threat of abductions very seriously.

Maternity wards are often locked, and the comings and goings of visitors and family are heavily monitored. Hospitals also tightly control babies’ whereabouts; in some hospitals, babies wear security bracelets that trigger an alarm if they’re carried beyond designated boundaries.

Penalties for lax security can be hefty: Last year, Santa Barbara Cottage…(read more)