Nurse arrested for not giving police patient's blood

Geneva Matthews
September 4, 2017

Detective Jeff Payne demanded that University of Utah Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels draw blood from a patient who arrived at the hospital's burn unit in a coma following a auto crash that killed another driver.

He is then seen forcing her wrists into handcuffs before dragging her to the back of the patrol vehicle.

After the incident the Salt Lake Police Department has changed their blood drawing policies and say they've retrained officers.

She said she was screaming and "just trying to hold on to anything that was keeping me safe because no one else was keeping me safe".

Winchester told AFP blood samples could be handed over to the police only if the patient had given consent, was under arrest or there was a warrant.

When transported to the hospital, Gray was unable to give consent to release his blood sample, and as he was the victim of a crime, not the suspect in a crime, Wubbels refused to release his blood sample without a warrant. The officers didn't have either. "And it's not what we were hearing in the video", Porter said.

"This is something that you guys agreed to with this hospital", Wubbels could be heard saying in the video.

The nurse sat in the police vehicle for 20 minutes before she was released without charges.

The officer, Detective Jeff Payne, who arrested the nurse was put on paid leave Friday. The mayor said it was the first time she had seen the video and the police chief said it was the first time he saw it in full, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

She told Payne he needed to have an electronic warrent, the patient's consent, or the patient was under arrest.

"It is outrageous and unacceptable that a nurse should be treated in this way for following her professional duty to advocate on behalf of the patient as well as following the policies of her employer and the law", ANA President Pam Cipriano said.

An internal investigation is underway after an officer arrested a nurse who wouldn't respond to his request for a patient's blood sample in the wake of a traffic accident.

It's fairly disturbing to watch this officer drag a woman from her workplace and handcuff her because she wouldn't let him perform an unconstitutional blood draw on an unconscious man.

The University of Utah Health hospital said in a statement on Friday that Wubbels followed procedures and protocols in the incident. "To date, we have suspended the officer from the blood draw program".

In response to the incident, the department says it updated its blood-draw policy last week to mirror what the hospital uses.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill called the police chief to insure an investigation will take place after this concerning incident. "I am sad at the rift this has caused between law-enforcement and the nurses we work so closely with", Brown said, promising that his department would take steps to "ensure this will never happen again".

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