Report Faults Nurse Training at Orange County Jail
Nurses at the Orange County jail infirmary appear to have inadequate training in basic emergency medical procedures, according to a report by the county grand jury, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The report is based on jail nurses' actions in the June 2006 death of an inmate from cardiac arrest. The report found that nurses did not begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation immediately after the inmate collapsed and that nurses did not use a defibrillator to try to revive the inmate until nine minutes after she collapsed.
Survival rates for heart attacks can double or triple if CPR is begun immediately after a heart attack, while defibrillator use within three minutes of a heart attack could increase survival rates by 49% to 75%.
The report stated that the county jail "has appeared to staff the jail infirmary with nurses lacking adequate emergency medical skill and/or regularly scheduled skills maintenance training."
Howard Sutter -- a spokesperson for the county Health Care Agency, which provides medical personnel for the county jails -- declined to comment on nurses training for cardiac arrest but said the agency is reviewing the report (Therolf, Los Angeles Times, 5/1).