Police Investigate After Nurse Gets Cuffed For Refusing Blood Test On Unconscious Patient

Sep 1, 2017

Salt Lake City police have apologized after an officer handcuffed a hospital nurse for refusing a blood draw from an unconscious patient.

The video taken at University Hospital in Salt Lake City shows nurse Alex Wubbels calmly explaining to Salt Lake detective Jeff Payne that she couldn't draw blood on a patient who had been injured in a car accident. She told the officer a patient was required to give consent for a blood sample or be under arrest. Otherwise, she said police needed a warrant.

The dispute ended with Payne telling the nurse she was under arrest and physically moving her out of the hospital while she screamed.

Police spokeswoman Christina Judd said the agency did not charge Wubbles, but initiated an internal investigation within hours of the July 26 encounter between Detective Payne and Nurse Wubbels that was caught on the officer's body camera.

Payne has been suspended from blood-draw duties but remains in his role as a detective in the investigations unit.

Judd says the assistant chief has apologized to the hospital and that the department is alarmed by what they saw in the video.

Judd said the department is working to investigate what went wrong and is seeking to repair the "unfortunate rift" it has caused.