An agency nurse who was captured on CCTV switching off a paralysed patient’s life support machine and then panicking as she unsuccessfully attempted to turn it back on has been suspended pending an investigation by the NMC.
Tetraplegic Jamie Merrett was left with severe brain damage after Violetta Aylward switched off the machine keeping him alive.
Aylward, an agency nurse working for the NHS, was caught on camera turning off the ventilator while caring for Mr Merrett at his home in Devizes, Wiltshire.
The incident was filmed on a bedside camera set up by Mr Merrett after he became concerned over the care he was receiving.
The 37-year-old was left paralysed from the neck down following a car accident in 2002.
Miss Aylward is seen in the footage touching the ventilator before a high pitched warning tone indicates it has been switched off.
Unable to restart the machine or to properly operate resuscitation equipment, the nurse panics. The machine was only switched on again by paramedics who rushed to the scene. It had been turned off for 21 minutes.
Mr Merrett suffered serious brain damage due to the machine being switched off.
Miss Aylward has been suspended while an investigation is carried out by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
The agency that supplied her, Ambition 24hours, declined to comment while an internal investigation continues.
The Wiltshire Primary Care Trust, which was responsible for providing care for Mr Merrett, said it could not comment as legal action is pending.