A nurse in Salt Lake City, Utah, was allegedly assaulted and arrested by police when she refused to allow blood to be drawn on an unconscious patient, citing her hospital policy.
The video of the incident shows Detective Jeff Payne informing nurse Alex Wubbels that he wants a blood sample from the patient who was involved in a motor-vehicle accident on July 26 that caused fatal injuries to the man in the other vehicle involved.
Wubbels informed the officer that according to her hospital protocol blood cannot be obtained from an unconscious patient unless the patient gives consent, there is a warrant or the patient is under arrest. Detective Payne insisted that he had the authority to order the blood draw and says "she's going to jail," if she doesn't allow me to draw the blood.
Nurse Wubbels contacted her superiors who concluded she was indeed correct when she cited the policy. When she told detective Payne that she could not allow it once more. Payne tells her she is under arrest and forcefully pulls her hands behind her back to handcuff her.
Payne dragged the nurse out of the hospital as she is screaming and puts her in a police car.
In Utah, some police officers are trained as phlebotomist so they can obtain blood specimens. Wubbel has hired attorney Karra Porter of Salt Lake City and the police department has suspended Payne pending an investigation into the incident.
Payne said in an incident report that he had been asked to obtain the specimen from another police department to determine whether the man was under the influence of any chemicals during the accident.
Payne said in the report that he had explained the “exigent circumstances and implied consent law, but she replied with “her police won't allow me to obtain the blood sample without a warrant."
Payne claims that he was instructed to arrest the nurse for interfering with a police investigation if she refused to allow the specimen
Wubbels said she never told Payne "no." She merely explained the hospital policy to him and the importance of being a patient's advocate, especially when they are unconscious.
on July 26, the patient, (who was never identified) was driving a semi when he was hit by a man in a pickup truck who was fleeing from police.
The vehicles exploded and killed Marcos Torres, 26 instantly.
How do you feel about this article?
I think there is a very slippery slope here, allowing none-nurses to do medical procedures. This seemed to begin when pharmacist decided it would be a great idea to open little clinics within grocery stores to administer injections.
Now we have police officers who haven't got a clue how to deal with patients, nor do they have any knowledge of the nurse practice act, board of nursing regulations and hospital protocol.
When I worked in surgery we had a police officer who came in with an inmate who needed a medical procedure. The patient was cuffed to the bed and the police officer insisted that he be in the operating room with the patient.
He told me that he needed to make sure the patient didn't escape. I looked him square in the face and said, "he's handcuffed to the bed and he's unconscious!!! How in the world will he escape?"
This was against our hospital's policy, but he didn't want to hear it. He knew nothing about sterile technique or how to act in an operating room setting and it was totally inappropriate for him to be in there.
Somehow police officers seem to think that the only rules that matter are theirs, which is simply not the case. Now they're resorting to violence and punishment for nurses who are just doing their job...a job that also has rules and regulations. This nurse did the right thing and was even willing to be arrested to be her patient's advocate. Kudos to her. She's a star.
I don't think there is any place for police officers or pharmacists when it comes to medical procedures.
The police officer that pulled this stunt should be fired and in the future, the police department should stick to doing police-y things while nurses do nursing things.
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