Nurse Caught on Tape Switching Off Ventilator
British nurse's blunder leaves man brain-damaged
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2010 2:56 AM CDT

(Newser) – A British quadriplegic who installed hidden cameras in his home because he was worried about the quality of his care was left severely brain damaged by a mistake that confirmed his suspicions. The cameras captured a nurse who lacked the proper training accidentally disconnecting his ventilator and then struggling to reattach it, AP reports. Jamie Merrett was starved of oxygen for 21 minutes before paramedics arrived.

Merrett, 37, was paralyzed from the neck down after a car accident 8 years ago but had been able to talk, operate a wheelchair, and use a computer before the nurse's blunder. His sister says his level of understanding has now dropped to that of a small child. "He has an existence but it's nowhere near what it was before," she told the BBC. Officials for the local health authority say the nurse has been suspended and they have "put in place a series of actions to ensure such an event will not occur again."