Taping patient’s mouth was ‘stupid’

A nurse who taped a patient’s mouth said it was "an act of stupidity" and he would love to be back caring for sick and disabled people again.

Staff nurse Bimbo Paden broke down when he appeared before a Nursing and Midwifery Board disciplinary hearing in Dublin yesterday.

Mr Paden, 40, has admitted that putting surgical tape over a severely brain damaged patient’s mouth while working at St John’s Community Hospital in Sligo on June 26 last year amounted to professional misconduct.

It is also alleged the Filipino nurse placed a sling under the patient without the assistance of a colleague in order to move him with a hoist.

Earlier, Éilis Carroll, a nurse who has been involved in the care of older people, said Mr Paden was guilty of misconduct for placing a sling under the patient on his own. Not having another staff member to help move the patient was contrary to his care plan, placed the patient at risk and failed to maintain his dignity, said Ms Carroll, a witness for the board’s executive.

While Mr Paden accepts that placing the sling under the patient was inappropriate, he does not accept it was professional misconduct.

Mr Paden said he started working at the hospital in 2001. He said the patient used to shout but that did not bother him. However, another patient, who had late stage cancer was bothered by the shouting.

After failing to quieten the patient, Mr Paden decided to bring him down to the activity room. He got the hoist and put the sling on him. “The shouting was constant, so when I had the sling on I put the tape on the patient’s mouth and said I would take it off when I had him on the chair.”

The inquiry has been adjourned until November 17.


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