An unconscious patient bit off the tip of a nurse’s finger at a hospital in Seoul, Saturday.
At the SMG-SNU (Seoul Metropolitan Government-Seoul National University) Boramae Medical Center, the patient in his 80s bit the finger of an assistant nurse, who was helping another nurse insert a nasogastric tube through the patient’s nose.
Also called as L-tube, nasogastric intubation refers to an insertion of a plastic tube through the nose, down into the stomach, to feed or drug a patient who cannot swallow foods. During the process, nurses have to open the patient’s mouth and check whether they adequately inserted the tube.
At the moment of the incident, the patient was not fully conscious because he had a surgery to treat cerebral infarction.
According to the hospital, the assistant nurse immediately received an operation to reattach the finger and is now recovering at the hospital.
“The incidence occurred not because there was a problem in the medical treatment but because the patient was unconscious. The patient apologized to the nurse later,” an official at the SMG-SNU Boramae Medical Center said. “The re-attachment surgery went well, and we’re keeping an eye on the nurse’s recovery.”
The hospital’s labor union said that the hospital agreed to handle the case as an industrial disaster.
“We’re working to help the nurse continue to get treatments if the damage becomes permanent,” the labor union said.
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