Convicted Nurses Future With Profession Uncertain While In Prison

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  • Nurses serving prison terms for the vaccination deaths of two babies last year
    Nurses serving prison terms for the vaccination deaths of two babies last year

Deidre Tautua – Fanene

Any future return to the profession by the nurses pair jailed for the shock babies vaccination deaths are uncertain.

Both are serving 5 year prison sentences for the death last year of two babies at Safotu District Hospital.

One of the nurses has since resigned, confirmed by the  President of the Samoa Registered Nurses Association, Solialofi Papalii earlier this week.

 “Leutogi Te’o has officially resigned from being a registered nurse,” said Papalii.

“She no longer wanted to continue in the profession after the unfortunate events she was involved in.”

No official word, however from Luse Tauvale Emo, the second nurse also serving time in prison for the same criminal conviction.

“Luse hasn’t said anything so we are still supporting her from here, however, she has to put in an official request to the board if she wants to continue being a registered nurse,” said the President.

“Even if Luse served her time there are still things that the board have to look at.”

Papalii added, a nurse who was convicted by the court has to go through proper training again and more to ensure she or he does not repeat the same mistake again.

“In this profession, once a nurse has been convicted by the court she cannot continue from where she left off, she has to go through proper training.

‘She has to put in a an application to the board, and among many other things to ensure this mistake will not be repeated,” she said.

Te’o and Tauvale Emo were convicted and sentenced to jail by Acting Chief Justice Vui Clarence Nelson for being negligent in preparing and administering a deadly mixture of a Measles, Mumps and Rubella (M.M.R.) vaccine and an expired anesthetic that caused the death of the two toddlers.

Last month Papalii issued an official apology over the death of the two toddlers, where she admitted that the mistake by both nurses was not checking the vaccines before they proceed with the mixture.

“The mistake they committed was not checking. It is a nursing practice that everything must be checked no matter how competent a nurse is,” said Papalii at the time.

She clarified that mixing the solution for the vaccines is done by the nurses.

“There are protocols already discussed together by the nurses and the doctors about the administration of the vaccination.. The doctors only prescribe.”

Lastly, Papalii said from now it is important that nurses need to check the contents of the vaccines no matter how competent they are.

Both nurses will have to serve half of their jail term before they are eligible for parole.