Nurse failed to alert doctor after patient’s foot turned blue

A nurse failed to alert a doctor when a patient’s foot turned blue, a watchdog has found.

Stella Nthinya, was cleared of making a series of blunders which were said to have contributed to the patient’s foot being amputated, but was found to have made other mistakes.

Nthinya had allegedly failed to give a pensioner a week’s worth of medication for deep vein thrombosis when she worked at the Southern Cross-run Newark Care Home in Port Glasgow, Inverclyde.

The patient suffered ‘blue foot’ and his leg had to be amputated. He later died, although there was no evidence to suggest this was linked to Nthinya’s actions.

The nurse admitted she had not given the patient his injection of a drug once, but insisted she had done so on the other four occasions.

She also admitted failing to call a doctor when she discovered the man’s foot had turned blue, and panel determined that she failed to inform the home’s deputy manager or provide an adequate handover.

Finding that her actions amounted to misconduct, but that she was fit to continue working as a nurse, panel chair Fiona Freedland said: “The panel determined that Ms Nthinya’s failures collectively amount to misconduct. They were serious failures, constituting breaches of the elements of the code set out above; they presented a significant risk of harm to [the resident].

“Ms Nthinya’s action in not seeking medical assistance in the light of her observation that [the resident’s] foot was blue and cyanosed together with her subsequent failure to pass on, at handover, appropriate verbal or written information regarding the condition of his foot led to a delay in [the resident’s] condition being diagnosed and to his receiving the appropriate treatment and care.”