Thursday, May 21, 2015

MOB ACTION: a misdemeanor arrestable offense

This just happened in the last few hours in a rough area of a city that will not be named. Tell me, honestly, from your gut and heart, without any politically  correct  bull shit, do you have to ask the race of these people?  The situation is, of this moment, unresolved, and several similar incidents occur regularly, many times each week.  Who was in danger?  Who was at fault?  If you are not in the trenches, don't comment on the war. 

All times are approximate. Conveyed verbally to me. Not my personal experience.

Patient was brought to ICU room 119 at 2000 after code blue on floor. Patient coded at 2016. Pulse returned, and family members were allowed to bedside two at a time. Patient coded again at 2050. While staff were running code, patient family members were congregating at the doorway of the room, yelling at staff to "Do something!". Security was called for crowd control purposes. Patient expired at approximately 2105. ER Dr. went to family waiting room, where approximately 30 family members were waiting at request of security. When ER doctor informed the crowd that family member had passed away, all of the family members began screaming and charging through the waiting room doors. Security officer was attempting to restrain them all from charging into the ICU, but there were too many of them pushing him and screaming. They pushed past him, scratching his arms and drawing blood in the process. Code grey was called at 2108. One more security officer arrived to room 119 in response to code grey. One security officer was standing in the doorway of the room, attempting to prevent them all from running into the room at the same time. Several staff members attempted to explain that the family needed to remain calm and they would all be allowed to see the patient in an orderly fashion. At least five family members were shoving the security officer in the room's doorway, and screaming that they were going to "Beat the shit outta y'all". I attempted to call the nursing supervisor (who had NOT been present at either of the code blues or the code grey) and after four failed attempts to reach the supervisor's portable phone, I called the operator and asked her to page the supervisor overhead at approx 2114. She offered to call the supervisor's portable phone, and I told her I had already done that several times, to no avail. She then said that she would page her. After three minutes of not hearing an overhead page, I called the operator back and asked her to please "overhead" page the supervisor, in the event that this was an emergency situation. At that time, she overhead (e.g.:  by PA system) paged the supervisor. During this time, every single one of the patient's family members was standing in the hallway of the unit, wailing and screaming multiple obscenities. All the other patients on the unit were disturbed. Other patient family members were afraid to walk down the hallway to exit the unit. Several staff members, including myself, were taken away from providing care for their respective patients. When the nursing supervisor arrived, I told her that this group of family members was overpowering security and the situation was continually escalating, instead of calming down. She informed me she was going to call the CNO, because "her husband is a cop, and maybe he can do something under the radar". Then she left the immediate area.

At this time, I decided the only option to ensure the safety of the staff (nurses and security) was to call (redacted) Police. I called 911 and explained the situation to them and requested their presence.  

(Further remarks on resolution in comments.  Your opinions are requested and respected.)


  1. Anonymous9:33 PM

    Over my 40+ years of nursing, I worked in hospitals, a prison, nursing homes, as an occupational nurse, and finally as a Home Health nurse. I have dealt with angry folk, but never to this extent. I was propositioned oodles of times, had my life threatened 3 times, and have worked with nurses that scared me with their incompetence.
    I figure the cops came, but it seems like your story is missing the ending.

  2. As I stated, the situation was, at that time, unresolved. The police remained to insure the body was viewed respectfully, two at a time, until all had an opportunity. One officer, during the whole process, recommended to various hospital personnel that the body be moved to the morgue ASAP. This was a mob of over 30 people left to the control of a 110 pound female. The nursing supervisor came when paged, viewed the scene, said she was leaving for help/advice, and never returned. The person who called in local law enforcement has, so far, heard of no repercussions. Nurses, etc., have signed a letter demanding the doors between wards (that you have to be buzzed through) remain locked. The letter had more than a hundred signatures. The doors had been routinely left open because it was too much trouble to buzz people in. I have been in quiet hospitals in peaceful areas where you always had to wait to be buzzed through. I think a formal review of security procedures is called for here.

    Thanks for visiting and your thoughtful comments.


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