Washington State Nurses Association alleges St. Joseph Medical Center reusing mattresses damaged by bodily fluids

The hospital is rejecting claims from the Washington State Nursing Association that it didn’t act fast enough.

TACOMA, Rinse. – Editor’s Note: Three days after KING 5 published this story, the Washington State Nurses Association said St. Joseph has since reported that all broken mattresses were removed from the labor and delivery department.

Medical Center St. Joseph’s Hospital is under fire after the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) said the hospital had been reusing damaged mattresses for months, endangering both staff and patients.

WSNA sent a KING 5 video showing blood and other bodily fluids seeping from one of the hospital’s mattresses. Jayson Dick, director of WSNA’s Labor Advisory Board, said he’s seen this before but not to this extent.

He said: “I’ve been a nurse for 20 years and that’s one of the things that makes it like, it’s horrible.

Dick said nurses at the Department of Labor and Birth noticed fluid leaking out of the beds, but the beds had already been used for other patients.

President of St. Joseph Jennifer Schomburg said the cushion in the video was removed immediately after it was used and was never used again.

The WSNA filed a complaint with the Washington State Department of Health in October. The complaint says damaged mattresses pose a significant risk to patients, especially where these mattresses were found.

“Blood and other fluids can carry infectious and other diseases,” explains Dick. “Given where this is happening during Labor and Delivery, there is a lot of bodily fluid released during delivery and sitting on a broken mattress, yes, there is a potential risk. very big.”

In a statement, Schomburg said that “any mattress that is compromised will be immediately deactivated and not used for patient care.”

However, Dick said that nurses are reporting that damaged mattresses are still being used.

“When it got to the regulator, they decided to try patching the beds again, and a few weeks to two months later we were still seeing the used beds patched up and still releasing these fluids. ,” he say.

Schomberg said the process only patched the mattress in certain situations and the hospital’s action was timely, but Dick said more needs to be done to address the issue for the benefit of patients and staff. .

“Their concerns are not being heard and not being addressed,” he said. “Whether nurses want to continue or can continue to work in such an environment will greatly affect our ability to retain qualified, skilled nurses at our bedside.”

Schomburg’s statement also cited supply chain disruptions as the reason why the hospital was unable to order replacement beds as quickly as usual and the patching was only a temporary solution. The statement added that replacement beds have been ordered and are being shipped, but this does not mean that damaged or damaged beds will be used until replacement beds are available.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/tacoma/st-joseph-medical-center-tacoma-not-replacing-mattresses-quickly-enough/281-f33212f4-d599-4e93-8231-6dde7e6f67f3 Washington State Nurses Association alleges St. Joseph Medical Center reusing mattresses damaged by bodily fluids

Edmund DeMarche

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