Two nurses struck off for professional misconduct


THE HIGH Court has confirmed the striking off of two registered nurses after findings of professional misconduct against them by An Bord Altranais, the regulatory body for the nursing profession.

Lesser sanctions were imposed on three other nurses who had appeared before the board’s fitness-to-practise committee.

In one case, a nurse perforated a patient’s eardrum by inserting into it a thermometer intended for use in the armpit.

In another, a nurse administered ear drops to a patient’s eyes.

Marylou Leal Chenilla’s name was removed from the register after it was found that in December 2008 she placed an axillary thermometer into the patient’s ear when she knew or ought to have known that this was inappropriate.

The committee found that she failed to use the correct thermometer and put the patient at risk by not recognising the differences between an axillary thermometer and a tympanic thermometer.

Ms Chenilla was found to have failed to demonstrate an adequate level of competence after she caused the patient to suffer bleeding and a traumatic perforation of the left ear drum. Her name was removed from the register and the decision was confirmed by the court last December.

Teresita Cantillon was also deregistered after it was found that she stole drugs from hospital supplies and used them herself.

The committee found that from 2002 and, in particular, in or about 2008, she took medicines and self-administered them while on duty. They included the benzodiazepine Hypnovel, the painkiller Tramadol, and an antihistamine drug, Cyclizine.

It was also found that she went on duty after taking the drugs in circumstances where she was unfit to do so, and that she tried to prevail on nursing colleagues not to tell the authorities about this.

Conditions were attached to the licence of another nurse, Bessy Varghese, after it was found that in March 2008 she gave Immodium to patients in a nursing home when it hadn’t been prescribed for them.

It was found she failed to carry out an adequate assessment of a patient, gave him drugs that had not been prescribed, failed to call a doctor when this was required and, when she did call a doctor, failed to convey the gravity of the patient’s situation.

Aleksandra Nyga-Kadoury was, meanwhile, censured over her professional conduct and conditions were attached to her continuing registration.

She was found to have injected a drug into a patient for whom it had not been prescribed.

It was also found that she administered Cerumol ear drops to a patient’s eyes and that when she realised her mistake, she failed to report the incident.

Rhona Delia O’Connor, who also appeared before the fitness-to-practise committee, was advised about her professional conduct after it was found that she took Tramadol which she had misappropriated from the hospital where she worked.

Fitness-to-practise hearings are held in private and the committee’s findings must be confirmed by the High Court.

The facilities in which the nurses worked have not been identified in the fitness-to-practise decisions just published.