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‘Absolute Nightmare’ at Wilmington Planned Parenthood clinic, former nurse testifies

by | May 30, 2013

By Dave Andrusko

Former Planned Parenthood nurses Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich (left)  and Joyce Vasikonis were sharply critical of Planned Parenthood of Delaware in testified given Wednesday. Photo credit: GARY EMEIGH/THE NEWS JOURNAL

Former Planned Parenthood nurses Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich (left) and Joyce Vasikonis were sharply critical of Planned Parenthood of Delaware in testified given Wednesday. Photo credit: GARY EMEIGH/THE NEWS JOURNAL

Trying to contain the damage arising from the Kermit Gosnell murder trial (and all that was revealed), the Abortion Industry insists that –Gosnell aside—their abortion clinics are the model of “quality care.” That’s never been the case, of course, and of late there has been more evidence from insiders that Planned Parenthood is guilty as well.

Last month we wrote about Planned Parenthood of Delaware and how its Wilmington abortion clinic had suspended surgical abortions following allegations of unsafe and unsanitary conditions and 911 calls.

Yesterday the two nurses who blew the whistle–Joyce Vasikonis and Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich–testified before a packed Delaware Senate hearing room. In their remarks delivered at an ad hoc hearing called by one Republican and one Democratic state senator, the two reiterated and elaborated on charges they had made in an April investigative report on WPVI-TV ABC News.

The lead paragraph in a story that appeared in the [Delaware] News Journal only hinted at the magnitude of the charges leveled by the two nurses who both quit last year: that “the Wilmington clinic performed ‘meat-market style assembly line’ abortions, focused most on profit margins, and put patients at risk for infection and other serious medical problems by neglecting proper standards of care.”

Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich, who resigned after a few weeks on the job and noted that she (like Vasikonis) is not against abortion, said, “It was an absolute nightmare.”

“This is not about abortion,” Mitchell-Werbrich emphasized. “This is about patients. Their lives are at risk.” She added, “I feared that a patient was going to end up being harmed and that I would lose my nursing license.”

Adding further intrigue was that the Delaware Division of Public Health released results of its survey of Planned Parenthood’s Wilmington clinic just hours before the hearing. “The state cites more than a dozen ‘unsafe and unsanitary’ practices and conditions there,” according to reporter Beth Miller.

As we reported last month, the two reports broadcast by WPVI TV ABC News’ Action News got the ball running. Here is a snapshot of a few conclusions drawn by the station:

“In Delaware, abortion clinics are not subject to routine inspections. The state only steps in when they have a patient complaint. Planned Parenthood is essentially in charge of inspecting itself. …Action News has learned during our investigation that one doctor and two more nurses at the [Planned Parenthood of Delaware] clinic have mysteriously left.” In addition, Action News reported that “several 911 calls [were] made from inside the Wilmington facility for patients in distress.”

According to yesterday’s News Journal story, those emergencies triggered the review by the Delaware Division of Public Health which (Miller wrote)

“found 14 kinds of violations at the clinic – including inadequate documentation of narcotics, supplies that had exceeded expiration dates, lax practices to ensure sterility, unlabeled bottles of fluid, overdue or uncertain maintenance records.”

In an April 24 letter, “Division Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said the clinic had 10 days to correct the violations, produce evidence that the problems had been addressed, and present a plan to prevent those problems from reoccurring,” Miller reported. In a May 22 response, Ruth Lytle-Barnaby, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Delaware, said “that policies and procedures, including staff training, had been modified and improvements implemented.”

In her prepared statement Vasikonis said, “It would take me the entire afternoon to discuss all the deficiencies I discovered at Planned parenthood of Delaware during the 10 months I worked there.” She listed 22 separate problem areas that included severe management problems and insufficient staff training; outdated (and broken) equipment; “Quality and Risk management policies were not followed or enforced’; an abortionist who did not wear sterile gloves; and sexual and racial harassment.

In her prepared statement, Mitchell-Werbrich explained that she had worked only 27 days at the Willingham and Dover sites. “I was forced to resign on August 8, 2012 as the conditions at Planned Parenthood continued to very unsafe and potential life threatening for the patients” despite numerous reports provided to Planned Parenthood administrators and a flock of state health regulatory agencies.

She said that “one abortion would be completed every 8-10 minutes” at the Wilmington PP site—evidence of what she called its “meat-market style assembly line abortions.” Her charges were every bit as lengthy and even more critical of the “poor, unsafe patient care.” To quote just part of one paragraph, Mitchell-Werbrich alleged that she had reported to two state agencies

“that most of the Planned Parenthood Staff members did not wear protective gear or utilize universal blood and body fluid precautions; consent for sedation and procedures were sometimes obtained late as staff was rushed and hurried; registered nurses had to hide the patient’s chart from [one abortionist] so the pre-procedure medications could have time to take effect because he was in such a rush to get to the next patient; lab work not being performed correctly thus the lab value results were incorrect; patients given sedation were found outside walking down Market Street dazed and confused. …[the same abortionist] once left sedated patients in the middle of an abortion procedure waiting for hours in order to handle a mechanical issue with his private airplane; and more.”

Not surprisingly, Sen. Greg Lavelle “said he was shocked’ to learn of ‘horrible patient care,’ lack of response to the nurses’ concerns, and the state response to their complaints,” Miller reported.

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Categories: PPFA