NMC cautions Darlington nurse for patient observation failure
A nurse who walked away after he was approached for help by a colleague over a 10-year-old boy from County Durham who later died of meningitis has been issued with a caution following a disciplinary hearing.
Christopher Kirby admitted failing to undertake observations including temperature, pulse rate and blood pressure or record 10-year-old William Cressey’s condition in his medical notes during his shift on the paediatric unit at Darlington Memorial Hospital on February 28, 2005.
An NMC spokesman said Mr Kirby was issued with a five-year caution order.
An NMC panel ruled on Tuesday that Mr Kirby had said words to the effect of “well you know what to do with that don’t you …just don’t touch it” when asked for help by a colleague about complaints that William had painful eyes. He then walked away, the hearing ruled.
The schoolboy, from Croft, was admitted to Darlington Memorial Hospital on February 27, 2005 after his mother Cheryl Cressey brought him to the accident and emergency department reporting that her son had a headache and a pain in his right ear, the NMC heard.
He was discharged from the hospital at 6pm the following day.
Mrs Cressey brought him back to the paediatric unit three hours later but his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to Newcastle General Hospital where he died in the early hours of March 1, the NMC was told.
Darlington Memorial Hospital was criticised by a coroner in 2009 for failing to spot that William was gravely ill.
Derek Zeitlin, for the NMC, told the panel that there was no suggestion that Mr Kirby’s actions had contributed to William’s death.
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