06/15/10 — Cherry tech fired over restraint technique

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Cherry tech fired over restraint technique

By Staff Reports
Published in News on June 15, 2010 1:46 PM

A health care technician at Cherry Hospital was fired earlier this month for placing a pillow over the face of a patient strapped in restraints.

The technician, Kevin Dunn, had been employed at Cherry for less than two years.

A second employee was given a five-day suspension.

Initially, Lanier Cansler, secretary of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, had said those involved would not be punished because of insufficient training. In a May 6 statement, he said he had viewed a videotape of the incident, in which workers restrained the patient, and concluded the staff did not intend to abuse the patient.

Upon further review, however, Cansler reversed his decision.

In a statement released by his office Monday, Cansler said, "At the time of my presentation to the General Assembly, the investigation was ongoing but preliminary reports indicated no dismissals. Upon further review, dismissal was recommended."

Dunn could not be reached for comment.