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BUPA nurse gave 2 paracetamol to Blackburn woman, 97, for broken neck
11:30am Thursday 30th August 2012 in Blackburn
A 97-YEAR-OLD woman who broke her neck at a BUPA care home was given just two paracetamol tablets for the pain, a hearing was told.
Nurse Abdullah Khan, 37, was found to have ignored the pensioner’s cries for help and failed to notice she had been seriously injured.
She was left in her bed for nearly two hours before an ambulance was called after she fell at the Blackburn home.
Yesterday a panel at Nursing and Midwifery Council, found Khan guilty of`five failures in the woman’s care before she was eventually taken to hospital.
The London hearing was told the woman, who survived her injuries, fell in her room at the Old Gates Nursing Home in Feniscowles, on March 20 last year.
Khan, a nurse at the home, was called to the room by health care assistant Zulekha Namaji.
Ms Namaji told the hearing the elderly woman was crying with pain and was pointing to her neck to indicate the cause of the pain.
Although Khan knew she had suffered a fall, he did not see fit to take further action and simply put the woman to bed, the panel was told.
Giving evidence Khan told the hearing he did not call an ambulance because he could not be '100 per cent sure' what was wrong with her and wanted to avoid 'whingeing paramedics’.
He said: “She hadn't any injuries, no bleeding or swelling.
“I couldn't be sure if she was OK or not, but she was saying she wanted to get up and go to bed.
“At the time I saw her she was not crying and I did not see her in pain.”
In Khan's limited notes after the incident, he wrote that he was giving her paracetamol for possible neck pain, the hearing was told.
After giving her the two pills, Khan went to tend to other patients in the home and did not return to patient A before his shift ended.
“I needed to look after the 18 to 20 patients in another unit, so I advised staff to call me back if she was in pain.
“But nobody called me back.”
Senior carer Wendy Aspen took over from Khan at 7.30am, and an ambulance was called shortly afterwards when the woman’s condition was discovered.
Khan’s evidence was criticised at the hearing as inconsistent, at times contradicting his notes made at the time of the incident and some of his own testimony to the hearing.
He had formally denied all the charges against him, but made admissions during evidence that he did not properly record giving the paracetamol to the patient.
Lucinda Bernett, chairing the NMC hearing, said: “Mr Khan stated he did not want to call an ambulance if he was not 100 per cent certain as to the need, since the ambulance staff would be 'whingeing and upset' if they were called unnecessarily.
“As a registered nurse and the senior member of staff on duty at the time, it was Mr Khan's responsibility to call an ambulance.
“He did not do so.
“That omission is, in the panel's judgement, a culpable failure.'
The hearing found that Khan had failed to call an ambulance and document giving the paracetamol tablets properly.
He was further found guilty of failing to complete paperwork following the fall. He said he had asked care assistants to do it for him.
The panel also decided Khan had failed to give an adequate handover at the end of his shift, further delaying the calling of an ambulance for patient A.
The panel will now decide if he should be struck off the nursing register.
Following yesterday’s hearing Richard Jackson, regional director, Bupa Care Homes, said: “We take any failure of care, however rare, very seriously. As soon as we were made aware of this incident, an investigation was launched and Abdullah Khan was later suspended and dismissed.”