Nurse caught on CCTV turning off paralysed patient’s life support machine
A paralysed patient has been left severely brain damaged after a nurse switched off his life support machine in an incident captured on CCTV.
Violeta Aylward, an agency nurse working for the NHS, was caught on camera turning off the ventilator keeping quadriplegic Jamie Merrett alive.
The 37-year-old, left paralysed from the neck down following a car accident in 2002, had a bedside camera set up at his home after becoming concerned about the standard of care he was receiving.
Footage recorded only a few days after it was installed shows Miss Aylward fiddling with the ventilator before a high-pitched warning tone sounds, indicating it is switched off.
Mr Merrett is then left fighting for life as the nurse panics about what to do next, unable to restart the ventilator or properly operate resuscitation equipment.
It was not until 21 minutes later that paramedics who rushed to the scene managed to turn the life support machine back on.
Before the incident, he was able to talk, use a wheelchair and operate a computer using voice-activated technology.
His family claims that the brain damage has severely diminished his quality of life, and he is now mounting legal action.
Miss Aylward, who was caring for Mr Merrett at his home in Devizes, Wilts, has been suspended while the incident is investigated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Ambition 24hours, the agency which supplied her, said it could not comment as an internal investigation was ongoing.
The NHS Wiltshire Primary Care Trust, which was responsible for providing care for Mr Merrett, said it was unable to comment due to pending legal action.Vodpod videos no longer available.
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