Nurse says he was fired for whistleblowing in lawsuit against Calif. hospital

A nurse said he was fired for speaking out about unsafe neonatal care practices at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., and he has filed a lawsuit against the hospital in response, according to The Mercury News.

Spencer Lucas, DNP, MSN, RN, said he observed restraints being used without documentation on premature babies, a violation of hospital rules. He also said he faced resistance after suggesting the hospital evaluate a nurse who used excessive restraints and was involved in an infant's October 2018 death.

California's Department of Public Health inspected the hospital on Nov. 15, 2018. The hospital placed Dr. Lucas on paid administrative leave on Nov. 16, 2018, and he was fired 10 days later. Dr. Lucas alleges the hospital fired him to prevent him from complaining to the state. He also claims he faced gender discrimination in a female-dominated field.

"We deny any and all allegations of unlawful conduct and intend to defend the suit vigorously," Lucile Packard Children's Hospital said in a statement.

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