- Associated Press - Friday, March 27, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) - The Washington state Health Department says a King County licensed practical nurse has been suspended by the state Nursing Commission after a 3-year-old boy died in his care.

The state alleged Thursday that 68-year-old Fernando Nunez-Mesta failed to properly connect a breathing machine the child used during sleep last November, and muted or turned off an alarm that would have alerted the nurse to a problem with the child’s breathing.

The state says an investigation showed the nurse didn’t know how to properly operate the machine.

The Seattle Times reports (https://is.gd/RILOUC ) that a King County prosecutor’s spokesman says the case has not been referred for criminal charges.

Health officials say Nunez-Mesta worked for Maxim Healthcare, a nationwide provider of in-home care services. In a statement, Maxim spokeswoman Rebecca Kirkham says the company is cooperating with investigators and is deeply saddened by the death.

Nunez-Mesta has 20 days to contest the allegations and suspension. He was not immediately reachable by phone for comment late Thursday.


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