A worker in South Australia has been fined $6,300 for failing to check the water temperature before allowing a patient into a hot bath.
The worker ran a bath for a person with epilepsy and limited communication skills and left the bathroom for about 15 minutes. Upon return the worker found the person suffering burns, to about 37% of her body, from the high temperature of the water.
The court heard that the department’s standard procedure required the worker to; run the cold water first, monitor temperature while running a bath, check the water temperature before allowing a patient in the bath, and to stay in close visual proximity while a patient is in the bath.
Presumably, the department demonstrated that the worker was properly trained in the procedure and compliance with the procedure was practical in the circumstances.
The worker was given a 30% discount on the possible fine for; contrition, co-operation and her early guilty plea.