Recent high profile media attention has been focused on Sunrise Hospital’s allegations that two nurses were intentionally “disrupting catheters” in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit of Sunrise Children’s Hospital. Murphy Jones LLP successfully defended one of the accused nurses, Jessica Rice, who voluntarily placed her nursing license on “Inactive Status” during the investigation by Las Vegas Metro Police and the Nevada State Board of Nursing. Subsequently, the investigation has failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing of any nurses, both nurses have had their licenses reinstated and the police have not filed any criminal charges.
For further information relating to the case, please see:
Las Vegas Channel 8 News story wherein Attorney Kathleen Jones is interviewed and speaks about her client, Jessica Rice, who was wrongfully accused of cutting catheters in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit of Sunrise Children’s Hospital, the inadequate investigation by Sunrise Hospital and the wrongful termination of the nurses.
Las Vegas Channel 8 News story describing that the accused nurses had their licenses reinstated after the Nursing Board’s investigation, and the police investigation, because their was no evidence of wrongdoing of either nurse.
Las Vegas Channel 8 News story explaining that the Sunrise Hospital investigation of the ‘disrupted catheters,’ and the report that prompted the criminal investigation, was inadequate and failed to produce any conclusive findings. Sunrise Hospital hired a “metallurgist” (specialist in metals) to examine the rubber catheters. The investigation did not examine whether a product failure was the cause, and the hospital requested the expert to state whether or not the lines could have been cut and not to determine the cause of the catheter failures. The Las Vegas Metro Police investigation into ‘intentional disruption’ was based in part on the findings of Sunrise’s investigation.
Las Vegas Review Journal newspaper Nov. 7, 2010 ”Babies’ deaths haunt Sunrise nurses” wherein Attorney Kathleen Jones is quoted regarding Sunrise Hospital’s failure to properly investigate.
Las Vegas Review Journal newspaper Nov. 21, 2010 article “Safety shortcomings spotted in Sunrise catheter case” wherein Debora Simmons, head of the Houston-based National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision Making in Healthcare said, ”This is a failure of hospital leadership…We’re talking about a culture where tolerance of patient harm was allowed to develop…You have to fix a problem before you kill somebody.” Ms. Simmons went on to say, “They (Sunrise officials) should have recognized that they didn’t have the expertise to deal with this right away…The way they handled this was a tragedy.”
Las Vegas Review Journal newspaper Jan. 17, 2011 article “Hospital Warned about evidence in catheter case” describing that Sunrise Hospital officials have been warned not to ”destroy, conceal, and/or alter any evidence” surrounding catheter failures at the institution.” The catheter failures led to one infant’s death and another infant patient needed a life-saving operation as a result of a separate catheter failure. Attorney George Kelesis was quoted as saying, ”Unfortunately, Sunrise has been known to get rid of evidence that may hurt them before they go to court” in reference to a 2004 $5 million medical malpractice lawsuit which made it to the Nevada Supreme Court in which Sunrise Hospital “had a duty to preserve anesthesia equipment used in patient’s surgery” and sold the equipment in question instead of preserving it for inspection.