Suspended nurse in Wisconsin charged with 19 counts of NICU patient abuse

A suspended nurse at Madison, Wis.-based UnityPoint Health-Meriter Hospital has been charged with 19 counts related to abuse in the neonatal intensive care unit, WMTV reports.

Four things to know:

1. The nurse, 43-year-old Christopher Kaphaem, appeared in court Sept. 27. The 19 charges include two counts of child neglect, eight counts of intentional child abuse and nine counts of patient abuse causing great bodily harm to several infants born at Meriter from March 2017 to February 2018. The judge set a signature bond for Mr. Kaphaem of $500 per case and ordered that he have no contact with the victims, their families or Meriter hospital.

2. Ten infants suffered abuse, according to the criminal complaint. The babies had injuries including bruising, a broken arm, a skull fracture and permanent scarring from improperly inserted IVs. The first abuse case happened April 12, 2017, and the most recent abuse was identified Feb. 7.

3. The Wisconsin Board of Nursing issued an interim order to suspend the nurse's license March 19 until a final decision is issued by the board. UnityPoint Health-Meriter disabled the nurse's badge access and suspended him in February.

4. The nurse is not admitting any wrongdoing and agreed not to engage in professional nursing pending the investigation, according to the interim order issued March 19.

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