Video: Nurse arrested for not giving police patient's blood

Posted at 9:17 AM, Sep 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-01 09:17:18-04

SALT LAKE CITY (KSL/CNN) - An internal investigation is underway after an officer arrested a nurse who wouldn't respond to his request for a patient's blood sample in the wake of a traffic accident.

On July 26, a fiery crash caused by a car fleeing police and traveling in the wrong direction sent the driver of a semi to University Hospital's burn unit. 

The driver was unconscious and not suspected of doing anything wrong. Even so, an officer with the Salt Lake City Police showed up asking for his blood.

"I'm just a nurse trying to protect my patients," charge nurse Alex Wubbles said in the video of the incident.

She said the request for blood isn't allowed under the policy the hospital established with law enforcement.

"I'm going to arrest her," the officer said.

While she was calling management, the officer became impatient.

She even printed out a copy of the hospital's protocol.

"Three things that allow us to do that are if you have an electric warrant, the patient consents, or the patient is under arrest," Wubbels said.

None of the conditions had been met.

"I'm just trying to do what I'm supposed to do," she said. "That's all."

After that explanation and while she was still on the phone with a supervisor, the officer made the arrest for obstructing justice.

"OK, no, we're done. We're done. You're under arrest. We're done," the officer said.

She was released 20 minutes later and has never been charged.

"I just feel betrayed. I feel angry. I feel a lot of things, and I still am confused," Wubbels said.

Wubbels said that blood is a patient's property.

"I'm a healthcare worker. The only job I have as a nurse is to keep my patients safe," she said.

Police said the officer is still on duty, but internal affairs is investigating.

"It was alarming. Immediately after seeing the video, they started an internal affairs investigation to look into what happened," Sgt. Brandon Shearer said.

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