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Nurse fined 560 euros for assaulting elderly patient at a Turku hospital

A nurse who worked at a geriatric psychiatric hospital in Kupitaa, Turku was sentenced to 40 day fines - some 560 euros - for assaulting a patient more than one year ago.

Kupittaan sairaala
Image: Nora Engström / Yle

The Southwest Finland District Court handed down a sentence of 40 day fines to a former geriatric nurse found guilty of assault in an incident at Turku City Hospital in December 2015.

According to the court, the nurse had forced an elderly patient into bed restraints for the night by pushing the patient onto the bed, twisting the patient's arm and pressing a knee against the patient's throat.

According to Turku-based news outlet Åbo Underrättelser, the court said that it is widely known that pressing a knee against someone's throat can be fatal, and that "every adult should know this."

However, the court said it deemed that the defendant's twisting of the patient's arm did not constitute assault, as it is an approved measure which can be carried out to protect a patient's safety.

The day fine system in Finland is based on a person's earnings during the previous year. The defendant was fined 560 euros, or the equivalent of 40 days' wages.

Other nurses from the hospital have also been charged with various crimes, including professional misconduct and abuse, but will be handled at a later date, according to the court.

The Turku geriatric hospital has been making headlines for more than two years due to reports of abuse and misconduct.

In February 2016, local daily newspaper Turun Sanomat reported that staff at the psychiatric unit had been abusing their elderly patients for years. They reportedly assaulted the patients, medicated them without their consent and illegally restrained them.

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