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U of Utah Hospital limits police access to patient rooms after aggressive nurse confrontation

Salt Lake City-based University of Utah Hospital changed its protocol to limit police access to patient care areas after a nurse was forcibly arrested for refusing to allow an investigator to draw blood from an unconscious patient without a warrant, according to NPR.

Under the new protocol, officers must check in to the front desk of the hospital and are required to consult house supervisors for law enforcement requests rather than nurses. In addition, law enforcement is not permitted in certain patient care areas including the emergency room and burn unit.

"Law enforcement who come to the hospital for any reason involving patients will be required to check in to the front desk of the hospital," CNO Margaret Pearce of the University of Utah Hospital told NPR. "There, a hospital 'house supervisor' will meet the officers to work through each request."

Hospital officials implemented the new policy in August, a few days after the incident July 26 and before the arrest became public, according to The Washington Post.

"University of Utah Health supports nurse Alex Wubbles, RN, and her decision to focus first and foremost on the care and well-being of her patient," says Suzanne Winchester, University of Utah Health media relations manager, in a statement emailed to Becker's.

Two law enforcement agents involved the confrontation July 26 have been placed on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation into the incident.

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