A nurse was photographed watching a soccer game while drawing blood from a 19-year-old seizure patient — and had no repercussions.
The patient, Libby Bates, was taken in an ambulance from her home in South East London to Queen Elizabeth Hospital on February 8 after suffering a non-epileptic seizure.
Her mother, Nicola, knew that in the past health care workers had trouble finding a vein to draw her daughter’s blood, so she alerted the technician that they might need an ultrasound machine.
But Nicola claims the nurse “ignored” her and tried to draw Libby’s blood anyway – while he was watching the game on his phone leaning against the computer on his desk.
Presumably he was watching the cup match between French professional men’s football club Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), in which Marseille defeated PSG 2-1.
The nurse even came into the room prior to the procedure watching the game with the volume on, and kept watching for a goal while the needle was in Libby’s hand.
In a photo taken around 10:30 p.m., the man can be seen looking at the phone and turning away from the patient as he tries to administer the needle.
Nicola said Libby’s hand was covered in bruises after multiple failed attempts to find a vein – as she warned could happen.
“He was looking at the phone, looking at a goal, when he had the needle in my daughter’s hand,” Nicola told SWNS. ‘He didn’t even notice that I was taking pictures. On the way out I said ‘enjoy your football’ and he laughed. Her hand was covered in bruises.”
Libby and Nicola received an apology from Lewisham and Greenwich National Health System (NHS) Trust which runs the hospital, but no action was taken to punish the nurse, Nicola reported. “Not good enough,” she said, but the trust told the mother-of-three to take it up with the parliamentary and health ombudsman.
“I think he should have been punished. He was watching football when we came in, with the sound on. He didn’t talk to my daughter the whole time we were there,” Nicola said.
She added: “He hurt my daughter while trying to take her blood. There was no concern and I mentioned it to another nurse at the time he was watching football but I was ignored.
“My daughter now has no confidence in hospitals as she has been going regularly for the past two years due to non-seizures.”
The trust that runs the hospital claimed the nurse was on a break, but still decided to treat Libby during his downtime.
“In retrospect, he acknowledges his mistake and apologizes for being distracted by his phone, which should have been turned off and put aside while attending to a patient. He has assured the investigator that this will never happen again,” a spokesperson for the trust said in a statement to SWNS.
The hospital also said it would be more diligent in looking out for “inappropriate cell phone use”.
“I am not happy with their explanation at all. He had no break. He saw patients before my daughter and after,” Nicola said in response to the comment.
The trust responded once again, saying: “We carried out a detailed investigation when Ms Bates complained about the care of her daughter and sent her a full response on April 15, addressing all of her concerns. We recommend that she contact our complaints team if she has any concerns.”