Kaiser Permanente Santa Teresita/Baldwin Park Nurse has license revoked by Judge.  
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Kaiser Permanente Nurse has license revoked by Judge.

Originally Posted At: http://www.sgvtribune.com/Stories/0,1413,205%257E12220%257E2067601,00.html#

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Judge suspends license of ex-Santa Teresita nurse

Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - LOS ANGELES -- A judge Tuesday suspended the license of a former Santa Teresita Hospital nurse accused by the state attorney general's office of negligence that resulted in two babies being born with severe brain damage. 

Evidence presented in the hearing showed that nurse Vynola E. Gadsby demonstrated a serious disregard'' for state, California board of registered nursing and hospital regulations on at least two occasions, said Administrative Law Judge H. Stuart Waxman.

To adequately protect the public, Waxman said Gadsby's license must be suspended on an interim basis, while the nursing board proceeds with legal proceedings to try and revoke it. Gadsby is currently on paid administrative leave from her position at Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center, according to court documents.

Gadsby was employed in the maternity ward at Santa Teresita Hospital in Duarte until January, when the facility abruptly closed its acute treatment operations. In a motion filed by Deputy Attorney General Anne Hunter, who is representing the nursing board, Gadsby is accused of violating hospital protocol by twice performing episiotomies - incisions below the female genitalia - and delivering babies without summoning a doctor, the motion said. 

The two births occurred in 1995 and 1999 and included similarly tragic circumstances, according to a memorandum filed by Hunter. In each case, Gadsby failed to see that the babies were suffering from a slowing heartbeat during labor. The babies were unable to breathe spontaneously for close to 10 minutes after birth,'' court records said. Both babies were severely brain-damaged and have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, court records said.

Gadsby suggested in an October 2003 deposition she would do the same thing again, the memorandum said.

(Gadsby) still fails to recognize that she has done anything outside the normal standards for nursing care,'' Hunter wrote. This is nine years after the first incident and five years after the second incident.'' Both births resulted in lawsuits filed against Santa Teresita Hospital and the obstetrician in the case, Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare. The hospital settled the first case by paying $1.4 million to the family of Victoria Alcarez, the child born in 1995, according to court documents.

Santa Teresita agreed to an undisclosed settlement in March with the family of Leslie Vargas, who was born in 1999. The Vargas case is proceeding against Ohikhuare and is scheduled to go to trail in July. Gadsby did not appear at Tuesday's hearing, and was represented by attorney Thomas Loya. Loya argued the interim suspension of Gadsby's license was not necessary because she was not currently endangering the public by practicing nursing. She is on administrative leave and has said she would not practice until the revocation process concludes, Loya said.

It's a matter of common sense: if you're not doing anything, how can harm result?'' Loya argued.

Hunter said Gadsby admitted breaking the hospital's rules in her deposition in the Vargas case. There is no reason to believe her status on administrative leave with Kaiser will last forever, Hunter said. Gadsby could also pursue employment at another hospital, she said.

The board feels extremely strongly,'' Hunter told the judge. The public needs to be protected and it needs to be protected now.''

-- Marshall Allen can be reached at (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4461, or by e-mail at marshall.allen@sgvn.com