Nurses being asked to Assist with 'Pu... - British Heart Fou...

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Nurses being asked to Assist with 'Public' AED...

Trieste1 profile image

Hi All

If there was a 'public' AED outside a care home, and a member of the public knocked on the door to ask for help, and a nurse in uniform said 'no' , would they be obliged to go and assist?

49 Replies

Just asked my friend who's Matron of a nursing home and her answer was that they would naturally go out and check, then ring 999.

I have a feeling that if a nurse offers assistance by examination they put themselves at risk of being sued. They would assume a duty of care for the person hurt and by starting treatment they would be accepting a responsibility for the care of that person.

They are not obliged in any way to help, but it would be a hard hearted person who wouldn't. Or maybe the nurse who answered the door to the nursing home and said no, had seriously sick, or dying people in their care.

Jean

Not sure if this post is heart related or just an attempt to discredit nurses ?Can I ask what your heart issues are as your profile says nothing?

Thank you, that's what I thought. We are introducing them in some care facilities and they will be public/outside. writing a risk assessment. I'm worried about adverse publicity if a nurse refused.

Janma123 profile image
Janma123 in reply to Trieste1

This explanation would be better as part of the question.A refusal to offer help in any situation, regardless of whether a defibrillator was needed or not would potentially attract bad publicity.

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Trieste1

Is this a hypothetical question?

I suggest you contact the Nursing and Midwifery Council NMC, the regulatory organisation of Registered Nurses.

They will inform you of the professional, and legal responsibilities of a Registered Nurse.

Just as a side note, the title of nurse is not legally protected. Anybody can call themselves a nurse, whether they are registered or not.

You need to define what you mean by 'nurse'

gilreid1 profile image
gilreid1 in reply to Trieste1

Can I ask who is we ? You have not replied to my previous reply to ? It was a genuine question

A care home doesn’t necessarily mean a nursing home and someone in a uniform mat not be a trained registered nurse RN. As an RN I would be horrified if a RN declined to help in this situation as it could be seen as omission of care which goes against our professional code of conduct. However residential homes are not supported by RNs and often have health care assistants. Likewise I have seen cleaning staff in uniforms so cannot generalise that people in uniform are nurses. The only people who should be called nurses are those that are registered.

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to ScoobyDoo71

Unfortunately anybody can call themselves a nurse. The title is not legally protected like other titles such as Midwife, Doctor or Pharmacist.

Have you seen the petition started by Prof Alison O' Leary, to protect the title of Nurse?

petition.parliament.uk/peti...

Sunnie2day profile image
Sunnie2day in reply to Milkfairy

Thank-you for posting the link - I've just signed.

Trieste1 profile image
Trieste1 in reply to ScoobyDoo71

Hi. I agree, and any adverse publicity arising from a nurse refusing to help wouldn't be good for an origination's reputation let alone the nurse's professional practice. In many care homes, where there is on one RN the nurse isn't permitted to leave the building (the regulations state this).

I'm in the US. It is absolutely mandatory for a nurse to be trained on the use of an AED. The AED walks you through all the steps. If a nurse doesn't know how to use an AED she shouldn't be taking on responsibility for any patient or resident. The quicker the AED or CPR are instituted the greater chance of survival for the patient.

AED is basic life support training. All staff are required to be up to date on the basics.

This is a disturbing question for me.

🐬

Trieste1 profile image
Trieste1 in reply to Dolphin14

Hi It isn't a disturbing question. AED and the knowledge to use them isn't part of any regulation or statutory guidance in the UK. Yes, we are all aware of the evidence regarding their efficacy. In the UK you can have one inside a care facility and it's 'private' which means its location isn't publicly known. A care facility can also have one outside the facility that is public for the public to access. The question is an ethical one. If a member of the public requested help from a nurse in a care facility which duty of care would be paramount- the duty of care to the residents, or the duty of care to the casualty as the nurse (wearing uniform identifying them as a nurse) has been asked for assistance. Clearly this has implications for any organisation's risk assessments in having one outside the building.

What do you think?

Sunnie2day profile image
Sunnie2day in reply to Trieste1

At this point here in the UK, I think it more a moral question than anything else. I can understand an owner/operator's concerns regarding a staff nurse rendering assistance to non-residents but morally it would be frankly reprehensible for a properly trained nurse to refuse to assist in an emergency outside the facility unless he/she were somehow the only qualified staffer on site and then I think I'd be reluctant to trust my loved one to a care facility with only one qualified staffer on hand who 'had' to refuse to render emergency assistance outside the facility.

Not a good look either way. Best to check with the facility/chain solicitors for professional advice, and the nursing board for ethical advisement.

Dolphin14 profile image
Dolphin14 in reply to Trieste1

I'm a nurse. So I think it is very clear how I stand. My license and capability are ready to preform whether in a facility or out of a facility. If I was a bystander and capable of attempting to save someone's life I would not hesitate.

It is a disturbing question for me. My nursing code of ethics says .... do no harm..... I would rip that " private" AED right outside and do as my license and my conscience tells me.

🐬

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Dolphin14

It's the same for Registered Healthcare professionals in the UK.

Dolphin14 profile image
Dolphin14 in reply to Milkfairy

I guess I'm confused. Why is the poster talking about nurse liability?

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Dolphin14

I wonder too.

I would like to be able to understand the motivation of the poster's question.

Dolphin14 profile image
Dolphin14 in reply to Milkfairy

Great thank you. I don't want to sound like I'm coming out of left field with my answer. Will wait patiently to see the answer.

🐬

Sunnie2day profile image
Sunnie2day in reply to Dolphin14

From the OP's wording and throughout the discussion, I have a feeling he is the owner operator of a care home.

Sad to see it appears his main concern is liability - if he's that worried about it, why does he only have one registered nurse on duty per shift - surely there is a ratio rule here in the UK the same as there is in the US.

Dolphin14 profile image
Dolphin14 in reply to Sunnie2day

Great point. How very sad indeed. To post it here is kind of way off topic. Where did he go? Lol..... no responses today.

🐬

Modern AEDs are designed to be used by people with no training, they "talk you" through the process and they cannot harm a person because the device will not administer a shock unless the heart has stopped or is in fribrillation. Knocking the door and asking for help is wasting time, open the box and get on with it. After having dialled 999.

I see you joined on 22nd Nov, and this is your only post. It's somewhat theoretical, and I don't think this forum is the best place for it

Lezzers profile image
Lezzers in reply to richard_jw

Completely agree, I've reported the post at it's not what this group is for!

Richard, everyone has a first post, and, this was a link from the BHF who do a lot of work with automated defibrillators, so my post is in the right place! The range of opinions and knowledge from the forum members is very useful.

The way the question is framed is a little misleading but and here it comes are the legal issues surrounding the use of AEDs clear. Another theoretical question would be what if someone had a DNR registered and you saved their life through Shocking ? The next aspect is if someone has an ICD what is the effect of shocking not sure if an AED can tell the difference !! I think this is a can of worms beyond members of this forum .

Regards

Lezzers profile image
Lezzers in reply to Prada47

If someone has an ICD fitted then the AED will pick this up and the emergency operator will advise doing CPR. I'm not sure about the DNR, but when I did my first aid training I was told you were unlikely to be held responsible or sued for trying to save someone's life as you're not trying to cause harm. If someone has a DNR then it would probably be a good idea for them to wear some sort of medical bracelet/necklace saying this?

Trieste1 profile image
Trieste1 in reply to Prada47

Those two questions are easy!AEDs can be used if there is a pacemaker, you alter the placement of the pads.

Sarah's law/acts as a good Samaritan legislation means if someone helps the law looks benevolently on them.

Lezzers profile image
Lezzers in reply to Trieste1

Why do people call ICD's pacemakers? They are completely different devices with different functions!

Dolphin14 profile image
Dolphin14 in reply to Lezzers

An ICD will defibrillate:)

Lezzers profile image
Lezzers in reply to Dolphin14

Yep exactly, which is what Prada was referring to I think, he'll no doubt tell me if I'm wrong!🤣 I'm very uncomfortable with this post, I don't think this group should be used to write a risk assessment, doesn't that come under the heading of research??

Alison_L profile image
Alison_L in reply to Lezzers

I agree Lezzers. My understanding is that an AED will not work on me as I have an ICD. It will work with a pacemaker as that does not have a built in defibrillator. I don't think a DNR could possibly result in a lawsuit if someone collapses "coincidentally" outside a care home where there happens to be a RN.

Lezzers profile image
Lezzers in reply to Alison_L

I didn't know that about the pacemaker but that makes complete sense, thank you. I don't know too much about the medical profession but my understanding is that any medical person assesses a situation and assists where they can do the most good. I just don't think this group is the place for an OP to be getting info for a 'risk assessment' my suspicious nature wonders why the OP isn't using a local community group, FB etc

Dolphin14 profile image
Dolphin14 in reply to Lezzers

An ICD purpose is to detect arrhythmia and shock if need be. So I'm not sure how you can be wrong.

I'm confused where it becomes ethical to be honest. Again, as you know, I'm from the US. My shock was to read there may be some hesitation of defibrillator usage due to private versus public?? I'm sorry but a life saving device shouldn't be cut off from anyone because of that label. So to me this is now more about having the ability to resuscitate but saying " no I can't touch that one because of the label" ?? Is this serious?

So even a Dr wouldn't be able to grab it? Why did the nurse get chosen in this topic? Is she less qualified to make that decision? I'm not less qualified than a physician to begin resuscitation on anyone.

I could go on and on but I won't.

How are you and Kevin doing? We are doing well on our end.

❤️🐬

Lezzers profile image
Lezzers in reply to Dolphin14

We do have private AED's here in the UK. I know of one of our very large DIY shops that's was raising public funds to fit AED's in their shops. They would of course be used in any emergency, but my issue was these should be fitted outside the shop where they could be accessed 24/7.

Ps: lovely to hear from you. Unfortunately Kevin's cancer treatment has caused issues, though we had been warned it would be hard on him. Good to hear you're doing ok, will message you xx

Dolphin14 profile image
Dolphin14 in reply to Lezzers

I think of you both and I will send good vibes your way.

❤️🐬

Alison_L profile image
Alison_L in reply to Dolphin14

Hi Dolphin. I don't think it's a question of not using "private" AEDs, more that they're not obvious, so a passing member of the public wouldn't know it was there in the first place. If a member of staff in the building (medical or otherwise) where the AED is becomes aware that someone outside needs help, then of course they should grab it. That's no different in the UK or US.

Dolphin14 profile image
Dolphin14 in reply to Alison_L

I must have read something wrong then. How is the nurse fitting into the equation

Alison_L profile image
Alison_L in reply to Dolphin14

The poor nurse doesn't really fit into the equation other than being far more confident in the use of an AED than the rest of us. I imagine that the vast majority of passers-by would be unaware that the AED talks you through the procedure. (Although someone above said that care home nurses mustn't leave the premises while on duty - again I can't believe they'd be sued (or reprimanded) for going out to help someone collapsed outside the front door.)

Dolphin14 profile image
Dolphin14 in reply to Alison_L

That's true, people may not know what to do with them. Hopefully someone in the vicinity of an incident will know how to use it.

I'm not familiar with your chain of command as far as nurses go. What levels of staff education etc. Would it just be one registered nurse per care home? With other staff working under her? Is all care home staff trained in the AED?

I'm probably asking too many questions. I apologize. I'm hoping the poster will reveal more info.

🐬

Alison_L profile image
Alison_L in reply to Dolphin14

I can't help there. I know an RN friend of mine used to do night shifts at a nursing home (subtle differences between that and a care home) and she would be the only nurse on duty. It probably depends on the number of residents.

Dolphin14 profile image
Dolphin14 in reply to Alison_L

Thank you

🐬

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Trieste1

You are giving in correct information Please see link re Sarah's Law, it has nothing to do with resuscitation.

met.police.uk/rqo/request/r...

Lezzers profile image
Lezzers in reply to Milkfairy

Yep, strange post!

Alison_L profile image
Alison_L in reply to Milkfairy

The reference to Sarah's Law confused me as well!

Dolphin14 profile image
Dolphin14 in reply to Milkfairy

Wow.... talk about a whole different subject. This post gets more confusing to me by the minute.

Thank you for posting your very informative information. I have looked at all your links and I get a better picture of what's going on in your country.

I think the replies here carry more substance than the OP information.

🐬

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star

"wearing uniform identifying them as a nurse"

As stated above anybody can call themselves a nurse, it not a legally protected title.

Wearing a nurse's uniform does not make a person a Registered Nurse.

As stated before you need to contact the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the professional and legal register of Registered Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors.

They will provide you with the legal, professional duties and responsibilities of a registered nurse.

Also see Resus Council.

resus.org.uk/

General reply

I was on a refresher First Aid course last week and we discussed AEDs in fact, had a go on Resusi Anne with one, ( last time was on the Rehab Course ) As far as the instructor knew none of this has been tested in a Court of Law. My lay mans understanding is if you have an ICD and you have a Cardiac Arrest it would be very hard luck indeed !! stress again total layman in this

Regards

Dolphin14 profile image
Dolphin14 in reply to Prada47

Can I ask what you are referring to in regards to the court of law?

🐬

Hi

A charge being brought and proven against anyone using a defibrillator to administer a shock to a member of the public !! Not in a Hospital Environment,

Regards

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