Photo of Kayvan Sabehgi with police. Photo Credit: SFist

Dear Sir or Madam:

It’s come to my attention through a recent news report that a California nurse allegedly acted in a negligent manner when he or she assessed an injured man who had been arrested by the Oakland Police Department during a recent Occupy Oakland protest march. According to the report, police beat Kayvan Sabehgi, a 32-year-old war veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, as he attempted to leave the protest area. A video shows police officers repeatedly striking Sabehgi with their nightsticks. Sabehgi said that he was in “unbelievable pain” during his incarceration, and that he couldn’t stand after he was taken to jail, so he crawled on his hands and knees over to his cell door and called for help. Sabehgi said he was vomiting and had diarrhea, and that the nurse on duty only offered him a suppository, which he refused to take. After 18 hours someone had the good sense to call for an ambulance to take Sabehgi to a hospital. He was taken into surgery for repair of a lacerated spleen and later spent time in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

I am appalled that a professional nurse would offer a trauma patient a suppository for vomiting and diarrhea, especially given the circumstances of his injuries. Didn’t it dawn on this nurse that Sabehgi was seriously injured and could have died while in police custody? I’m asking the California Board of Nursing to look into this story and take appropriate disciplinary action if these allegations are true. Nurses with poor clinical skills and total lack of judgment endanger the public.

Sincerely, Mother Jones, RN