Nurse admits taping patient’s mouth to keep him quiet

Incident occurred at St John’s Hospital in Sligo in 2013


A nurse today admitted taping a patient’s mouth to keep him quiet in a long-term care hospital.

Bimbo Paden, a 39-year-old father of three, pleaded guilty at Sligo District Court to taping a 49-year-old man’s mouth when he was caring for several patients in a facility in the hospital.

The incident occurred at St John’s Hospital, Ballytivnan, Sligo, on June 26th last year. The court was told the patient was in the hospital, incapacitated and needing 24-hour care following a brain haemorrhage 13 years ago.

Inspector Colm Nevin said the Filipino-born male nurse – in Ireland for 12 years, most of it nursing at St John’s Hospital – placed a surgical tape over the patient’s mouth.

“I was alone and caring for five bays of patients with no one to assist me,” said the nurse. “In a moment of complete stupidity I put a small piece of surgical tape on Kevin’s mouth.”

He said he moved it away when another nurse came in to help him. He added that he had nursed the patient for six years.

Judge Kevin Kilrane was told there were a number of investigations, including by Hiqa and an internal hospital inquiry. Mr Paden had voluntarily agreed to be suspended from the registry of nurses and had been suspended from work since the incident last June.

The court heard the patient’s brother had engaged with the HSE and obtained certain documents in which names were redacted. Judge Kilrane noted from Hiqa and other documents before him that investigators were unable to comment on the psychological impact on the patient, but he was clinically well on the day of the incident and on following days.

The judge said Mr Paden, with an excellent work record, “made one bad mistake in his career”.

He adjourned the hearing to March 13th.

Defence solicitor Mark Mullaney said the future employment of Mr Paden, who fought back tears during the hearing, was dependant on the decision of the court.