Patient dies after nurse unplugged heart monitor to FaceTime family

An 85-year-old patient reportedly died after he had his heart monitor disconnected by his nurse, who was busy talking on FaceTime with her family. Geraldine Lumbo Dizon, who was working the night shift at Nepean Private Hospital in Kingswood, Sydney, Australia, on July 29 2021, switched off the sound to the monitor when she received a call from her relatives.

Dizon was found by a New South Wales Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal to have failed to warn doctors of the patient’s irregular heart rhythm just moments before the incident.

The nurse was found guilty of professional misconduct and unsatisfactory professional conduct at the hearing, The Mirror reports.

Dizon was also found to have not provided treatment for the patient, who was suffering from renal and heart failure, while she was on the call.

Following her shift, medics were baffled by his failing health because she had not plugged the monitor back in.

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The tribunal concluded: “At 7:07am on 30 July 2021, the heart monitor showed Patient A was bradycardia [slow heartbeat].

“Nursing and medical staff could not hear the alarm because the telemetry alarm speakers were still disconnected.”

Dizon’s defence was that she had switched off the sound of the monitor because other patients were getting confused by it for the ring of a doorbell.

It took only seven minutes between when the mute alert was detected and the OAP suffering a cardiac failure.

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He was found dead in his bed around 10 minutes later.

Dizon was also responsible for regular checks on her patients, however CCTV showed she had only done so once during a 10-hour shift.

It was also discovered that she was on the phone with her family 15 minutes before the patient’s heart began to slow, and that in total she was on the phone for 66 minutes.

Dizon claimed she was checking on family in the Philippines, and said she failed to notify other staff because she wasn’t “good at ECG reading”.

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