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Nurse Parulben Patel played God by failing to resuscitate care home resident, court told

Maidstone crown court
Maidstone crown court

A nurse "played God" by allegedly failing to resuscitate a dying elderly care home resident, a court heard.

Parulben Patel was the registered nurse in charge of the shift at the elderly mentally ill unit at Hazelwood Nursing Home, in Longfield, when 90-year-old John Rudderham suffered a heart attack.

It is claimed the 39-year-old failed to give him CPR, despite being fully trained in the procedure and the home having a policy that it should be carried out if the resident did not have a 'do not resuscitate' order.

A jury at Maidstone Crown Court heard Mr Rudderham, who suffered from dementia, did not have such an order.

On the evening of January 19, 2010 he started having difficulty breathing.

Jonathan Polnay, prosecuting, said Patel alerted another nurse who was working in the general nursing unit at the home and was advised by her to call a doctor or ambulance.

However, the court heard Patel phoned Mr Rudderham's son Trevor in the US, asking him what he wanted to do three minutes before her first 999 call.

She told the operator Mr Rudderham was not conscious, but was breathing. Patel was then advised to put Mr Rudderham on the floor if he was going into cardiac arrest and an ambulance crew was despatched.

The prosecutor said a clinical advisor at the ambulance station was concerned about the call and phoned the nursing home.

"it was not for her to play god…” – jonathan polnay, prosecuting

In a conversation with Patel, he repeatedly asked if CPR was being given, to which Patel replied on several occasions that it was not allowed. She also said Mr Rudderham was still in his bed, but was dead.

"There are two fairly obvious points from that call," said Mr Polnay. "Patel was categoric that Mr Rudderham was dead and six times she states they are not allowed to do CPR at the home. That is simply untrue."

Patel, of Station Road, Longfield, denies ill-treatment or neglect of a person who lacks capacity.

Mr Polnay said it was not the prosecution's case that Mr Rudderham would have survived if he had been given CPR.

"Nobody can live forever," he explained, "but just because Mr Rudderham had vascular dementia it didn't mean Patel was entitled to withdraw care from him. It was not for her to play God."

The trial continues.

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