A nurse has been reprimanded after she didn’t give a visibly dead resident CPR.
Despite the pensioner not breathing and being ‘yellow, waxy, and almost cold’, with no signs of life – such as a pulse – the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) said Jane Frances Kendall should have also called 999.
Kendall, from the Moorland Nursing Home in Poulton, was given a caution order lasting for 24 months after admitting failing to follow official guidelines.
“Ms Kendall’s actions fell seriously short of what would be expected of a registered nurse and constituted misconduct,” the NMC’s report said.
The hearing, held in London last month, heard how a care assistant at the nursing home, in Moorland Road, found the 85-year-old unresponsive on Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
The worker called Ms Kendall, who was the nurse in charge and in control of the home when the manager was not on shift – but she did not attempt CPR or call the emergency services, despite no ‘Do Not Attempt Resuscitation’ (DNAR) order being in place, the hearing was told.
Paramedics later pronounced the woman dead, and Ms Kendall was suspended while an internal investigation was carried out.
A police investigation was also launched, but later ruled there were no suspicious circumstances, before the town’s coroner ruled at the woman’s inquest she died unexpectedly but naturally.
Ms Kendall was allowed back to work but given a final written warning, the panel heard. She was still working there as of last month, and was described as a ‘good employee’.
The hearing, which the time-served nurse did not attend, handed down the caution after hearing Ms Kendall had been in trouble in the past, though the NMC said it was unable to go into more detail.
“Ms Kendall admits that the facts set out amount to misconduct,” the report added. “She further admits that her standard of care on that occasion fell short of what would be expected of a registered nurse in those particular circumstances.
“More specifically, Ms Kendall admits that, although she considered the resident had already died, as no DNAR was in place and the resident’s death was unexpected, she was under an obligation to attempt CPR and to call for emergency assistance.
“Furthermore, Ms Kendall admits that she was acting outside of her competence on that occasion, in that she was not qualified to certify death.”
In a letter to the NMC last May, Ms Kendall expressed regret over what happened and said that, faced with a similar situation, she would carry out CPR and dial 999.
She has since undergone re-training, including in end of life care, dying, and verification of death, the panel heard, though it said there was a ‘low risk of repetition’.
“The panel was concerned that there is a residual risk that she could repeat this behaviour,” it added.
“A caution order for a period of 24 months sufficiently marks the seriousness of this misconduct.”
Leenah Gutty, area manager at Moorland Nursing Home, said Ms Kendall ‘is doing her job with great responsibilities when she is in charge of her shift.’