She was attacked by a behavioral health patient and former boxer. She finished her shift. Days later, she died of a massive pulmonary embolism.
Since I did this live episode, the coroner has now ruled this case a homicide and more information has come to light. Why do we demand that our frontline healthcare professionals make the ultimate sacrifice? When will we keep them safe? #silentnomore
So tired of reading story after story after story after story of health care workers being attacked, being abused, verbally and physically and emotionally by our system and the patients that we are taking oaths to protect.
And we’ve talked before about the culture that’s led to this and the fact that we’re treating hospitals as hotels and the fact that we’re not treating mental illness and the fact that we have an opioid epidemic and the fact that increasingly we are managed as commodities instead of human beings. And it is pushing our resilience to the limit and we’re breaking and we hear about the nurse who died, or who’s in critical care after being shot in South Carolina.
We hear about EMS workers attacked in the Pacific Northwest. And now, the story out of Baton Rouge General Hospital where a nurse was attacked by a patient on a behavioral health unit and the way we’re piecing this together is from press reports and from private messages that have been sent to me by people who are connected to this case and this person but it’s still not clear and a lot of this is speculation but even the overall arch of this, re-points out how we are de-valuing our frontline health care professionals, putting them in harm’s way and expecting our healers to make the ultimate sacrifice in service for their patients, to die in service for their patients.
So this nurse, who was very well respected on this unit, was attacked by a patient, sustained a leg injury and apparently a head injury. Now there’s conflicting data here. The press says she went, finished her shift, which everybody agrees that I’ve heard from. She finished the shift that she had and then went to the Emergency department, according to the press, that evening, was evaluated and sent out. Some have told me that no, she didn’t go to the Emergency department, some have told me that they made her chart what happened before they let her go to the Emergency department, but everybody seems to agree that she heroically finished her shift. Why? Because that’s why we go into this, to help other people. We don’t abandon our colleagues and our patients, even at personal risk. So she was evaluated, sent back. Now this is where the stories are conflicting. Over the next few days, some have told me that she went in and out of the ER and was sent away because they evaluated her complaints of anxiety and discomfort and sent her home, thinking nothing was wrong.
Ultimately, and we don’t know if this is really true, what the press says is in a week, she came to the ER, was evaluated and rapidly deteriorated and died and the autopsy preliminary and they’re still working on this and it’s hard without all the data, showed blood clot in the right leg apparently and pulmonary embolism. So it seems to be, if you’re putting it together, blood clot in the leg, went to the lungs, ultimately ended her life. Now, people who understand how you end up getting blood clots, can understand that there’s Virchow’s triad and part of the triad is injury to the blood vessels so if this nurse sustained a leg injury, it’s entirely possible that that led to a blood clot or even if she wasn’t walking and stayed off her feet, led to a blood clot, ultimately the complication of pulmonary embolism and death, whether or not it was blown off in the ER, whether or not she was evaluated correctly, we don’t know.
It doesn’t really matter. What matters is, we’ve lost one of our frontline health care workers, our colleagues, our tribe to violence again, again. And it happens again and again and again and our thoughts go out to her family and to her colleagues and her patients. Now, people on, affiliated with her institution and who have messaged me have said that they feel unsafe, that their concerns are blown off, that this was destined to happen and that they don’t think anything good is gonna come of it, even in the future. And this is what we have this Silent No More hashtag for. We cannot shut up about this. And when you guys send me these articles, it’s so exhausting to see how much horrible stuff is going on in the world and how little is being done and someone actually said, oh it’s finally showing up in the press, that this happened, right? So our job, Z pack, is to never let people forget to keep making noise, to keep advocating for safer units, for better mental health care, for better support for our frontline clinicians, for better security in hospitals, and support for our security staff, who are also suffering with the moral injury of not being able to keep people safe because they don’t have the tools and the resources and the autonomy to do it.
We need to put pressure on our legal system and our law enforcement, which is already under their own pressure, to actually prosecute these cases and to take them seriously, in a way that really isn’t done because they’re all overwhelmed as well. And we need to take the victim seriously when something happens, when we’re caring for them. We don’t blow them off, we don’t let them finish their shift, we don’t make them chart. We take it deadly serious, they are one of our comrades, right?.
So here’s the call to action. Share this video, keep making noise, if you know something about this that I don’t, please message me and let me know because we want to get the story right because it’s hard for the press and it’s hard for us to get all the information but I think we have enough of a thread to understand what’s going on and we need to hold our institutions accountable, we need to hold our patients we’re caring for accountable and we also need to hold ourselves accountable for caring for our fellow colleagues and taking this stuff deadly serious, whether you’re a nurse manager, whether you’re a hospital CEO, we’re all in this together and we’re a team and we should be treated as such and treat each other as such. If you want a longer discussion about this stuff, join our Support Our Tribe, the link’ll be here because that’s where we talk about this stuff in a completely uncensored and off the rails way, which is in fact, the most authentic way you can do it and there’s nowhere else that’s happening, all right? Please share this video, leave your comment, leave your stories, send me messages, and we out.