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Salt Lake City - Outrage After Officers Handcuffs Nurse For Refusing Blood Test On Patient

Published on: September 1, 2017 06:30 PM
By: AP
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In this July 26, 2017, frame grab from video taken from a police body camera and provided by attorney Karra Porter, nurse Alex Wubbels is arrested by a Salt Lake City police officer at University Hospital in Salt Lake City. The Utah police department is making changes after the officer dragged Wubbels out of the hospital in handcuffs when she refused to allow blood to be drawn from an unconscious patient. (Salt Lake City Police Department/Courtesy of Karra Porter via AP)In this July 26, 2017, frame grab from video taken from a police body camera and provided by attorney Karra Porter, nurse Alex Wubbels is arrested by a Salt Lake City police officer at University Hospital in Salt Lake City. The Utah police department is making changes after the officer dragged Wubbels out of the hospital in handcuffs when she refused to allow blood to be drawn from an unconscious patient. (Salt Lake City Police Department/Courtesy of Karra Porter via AP)

Salt Lake City - A Utah police department is making changes after an officer dragged a screaming nurse out of a hospital in handcuffs when she refused to allow blood to be drawn from an unconscious patient.

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Nurse Alex Wubbels followed hospital policy and advice from her bosses when she told Salt Lake City police Detective Jeff Payne that he could not get the blood sample without a warrant or consent from the patient, said her lawyer, Karra Porter.

Police spokeswoman Christina Judd said the agency started an internal investigation within hours of the encounter on July 26 and that the assistant chief has apologized to University Hospital.

“We’re alarmed by what we saw in the video and take it very, very seriously,” Judd said.

Police body-camera video  shows Wubbels, who works in the burn unit, calmly explaining that she could not take blood from a patient who had been injured in a deadly car accident, citing a recent change in law. A 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling affirmed that a blood sample cannot be taken without patient consent or a warrant.

Wubbels told Payne that a patient was required to give consent for a blood sample to determine intoxication or be under arrest.

Otherwise, she said police needed a warrant. Payne insisted.

The dispute ended with Payne saying, “We’re done, you’re under arrest” and physically moving her outside while she screamed. The department said the frustrated Payne had called his supervisor and that several people went back and forth about the time-sensitive blood draw for over an hour.

“It’s not an excuse. It definitely doesn’t forgive what happened,” Judd said.

The detective left Wubbels in a hot police car for 20 minutes before realizing that blood had already been drawn as part of treatment, her attorney said. She was not booked or charged.

“This has upended her worldview in a way. She just couldn’t believe this could happen,” Porter said.

Payne has been suspended from drawing blood but remains on duty as a detective in the investigations unit. He is among a group of officers who are certified phlebotomists, called upon regularly when a blood sample is required for a police investigation.

Payne could not be reached for comment. Message for the Salt Lake Police Association union was not immediately returned.

In response to the incident, Judd said the department updated its blood draw policy last week to mirror what the hospital staff uses. She said officers have already received additional training but that they are still sorting out the department’s response since the law changed.

“We want to know where something went wrong, what we didn’t know, and why we didn’t know it,” Judd said.

The agency has met with hospital administration to ensure it does not happen again and to repair their relationship.

“There’s a strong bond between fire, police and nurses because they all work together to help save lives, and this caused an unfortunate rift that we are hoping to repair immediately,” Judd said.

The hospital said it’s proud of the way Wubbels handled the situation. The nurse’s union National Nurses United called the arrest an outrageous act of violence.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the patient was a reserve police officer from Idaho who was working his other job as a semi-truck driver when a car fleeing the Utah Highway Patrol crashed into him. The newspaper cites police reports saying Payne was trying to take the blood to clear him of any wrongdoing in the wreck.



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Read Comments (6)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Sep 02, 2017 at 10:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Welcome to TRUMPUSA

2

 Sep 03, 2017 at 12:28 AM Anonymous Says:

What does one have to do with another?

3

 Sep 03, 2017 at 09:42 AM Jew lover Arab hater Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

What does one have to do with another?

Don't you know? All these idiots know is to blame Trump, when Trump has nothing to do with it.

4

 Sep 03, 2017 at 10:07 AM Mayer Says:

This has nothing to do with TrumpUSA. The piece of garbage who assaulted the nurse should be immediately sacked, not given a free vacation. Then he should be charged with assault and sued in Civil Court.

5

 Sep 03, 2017 at 01:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Mayer Says:

This has nothing to do with TrumpUSA. The piece of garbage who assaulted the nurse should be immediately sacked, not given a free vacation. Then he should be charged with assault and sued in Civil Court.

You are forgetting that Trump gave the the resus. " Bit them up, don't be nice to them" etc.

6

 Sep 04, 2017 at 03:53 PM georgeg Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

You are forgetting that Trump gave the the resus. " Bit them up, don't be nice to them" etc.

The context of the speech, to quote the speech itself, was "the vile criminal cartel, MS-13, and many other gangs".

7

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