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Nurse accused of sleeping while tot in her care choked

PUBLISHED: 16:01 24 February 2010 | UPDATED: 10:46 12 August 2010

A PAEDIATRIC nurse accused of sleeping through an alarm after a seriously ill toddler s air supply was cut off faces an anxious wait over the future of her career.  The two-year-old boy, who suffered from chronic lung disease and Downs Syndrome, needed co

A PAEDIATRIC nurse accused of sleeping through an alarm after a seriously ill toddler's air supply was cut off faces an anxious wait over the future of her career.

The two-year-old boy, who suffered from chronic lung disease and Downs Syndrome, needed constant care and had become tangled in the wires of his life support machines.

Alarm bells from his oxygen and feeding machines were beeping but his nurse Kehinde Onasanya, 43, from Bromley, failed to wake up from her deep slumber.

Onasanya was less than a foot away from his cot and only awoke when the boy's mum shouted at her, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard last Friday.

She was a full-time nurse at Lewisham Hospital's intensive care neonatal unit but also did shifts for Paediatric Nursing Link, an agency that provides home care for children.

The child, known as patient A, was cared for at home by nurses four times a week.

On January 12, 2008 he spent the day in hospital and returned home with the nurse and mother.

At 4am, having been checked on an hour earlier, the mother awoke to the sound of the warning alarm.

The panel heard patient A was sleeping upright in a specially adapted chair to ensure he could breathe, but had slipped down.

She said: "He had tangled himself up in the wires as he had twisted sideways.

"He is quite floppy anyway and had slipped down on one side, which is why everything was beeping. He had a tube in his nose and I had to untangle him so he was getting the air he needed."

The frantic mum had to disconnect the tubes, untangle them and reconnect them.

Once she had finished she turned to leave the room and was shocked to see Onasanya curled up on the sofa bed.

She must now wait until her case resumes on June 3 as the hearing ran out of time. If found guilty of misconduct she could be thrown out of the profession.

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