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Indian nurse cuts off infant’s finger

A nurse at the Institute of Child Health in Kolkata, India accidentally severed an infant’s finger — while on her cell phone.

The nurse was removing a medical dressing with a scissors when she “unwittingly applied the scissors on the little finger of the baby’s right hand,” said a representative of the Institute of Child Health.  The parents allege that the nurse was chatting on her cell phone at the time.

Cell phones have quickly become ubiquitous in healthcare settings, with data showing that cell phone usage among healthcare providers actually decreases the number of medical errors by improving communication.  But numerous studies have cited problems with inattention when speakers chat on cell phones, leading to legislation banning the use of cell phones while driving.  Will a ban on cell phone use during patient care be next?

Share your thoughts!  Does your employer have a policy on cell phone usage during patient care?

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Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN

Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.

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2 Responses to Indian nurse cuts off infant’s finger

  1. Do we really need a policy regarding cell phones
    while on duty? Performing a medical procedure
    in the nursing field takes focusing on what you
    are doing! Common sense tells me I can not be
    on the phone AND change a dressing.
    I thought that having a brain was pre-requiset to
    being in the medical field!!!

  2. Karen

    Just another example of how nursing has changed. QUALITY patient care means giving your patient the attention that they deserve, Accidents do happen. Someone could have been standing beside her talking to her an the same thing could have happened. We need to get back to the basics though. The cell phone use was just unprofessional no matter how you look at it!