Nurse Tapes a Patients Mouth Shut


Two Utah nurses allegedly taped a patients mouth shut while under their care. Penny Artalejo was in the ICU after taking 20 pain pills due to extreme anxiety related to pain and nausea from a aggravated neck injury. As if living with chronic pain and anxiety weren’t enough, she was basically tortured when she was in the hospital.

This happened about a month ago, but I just noticed in on another bloggers site. Nurse Me | Silence is a Felony

Taping a Patient’s Mouth Shut: Seriously?

I’ve dealt with my fair share of anxious patients. I could never, in my wildest dreams imagine anyone taping a patients mouth shut.

According to statements her daughter, Brittany Bilson, the patient was moaning and chattering and a male and female nurse placed multiple pieces of wide “hospital tape” across the patient’s face and mouth. The patient was fully conscious and alert while this was going on and had the tape on her face for 5 to 10 minutes. The patient told her daughter she heard the nurses discussing the need to make sure she could breath and that they would “get fired” if anyone found out.

Well at least they were concerned with her airway… well, that and getting fired.

But seriously, how does anyone do that to a patient? How is it that in the ICU there were not multiple nurses playing witness to this event? Why didn’t anyone step in, advocate for the patient (and for nurses not being morons), and say that this was wrong? I really hope there were more than just two nurses in that whole ICU, because if that’s the case then there are bigger problems at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.

Perhaps they did. I sincerely hope they did. I also hope someone verbally stomped a mud hole in any and all nurses involved in the incident. I also hope that the hospital goes out of there way to make a public apology to the patient and her family.

When nurses behave badly it’s upsetting for many reasons.

Nurses are trusted. We are trusted to deliver care to the best of our ability and treat people with dignity and respect. We are trusted to care for our patients and keep them safe.

Nurses who do this sort of thing are an embarrassment to the profession and we do not need those who would make such poor judgments with people’s lives in their hands.



  • Nurse Me | Silence is a Felony
  • Taping Patient’s Mouth Shut: Utah Nurse Fired For Treatment Of Penny Artalejo

4 thoughts on “Nurse Tapes a Patients Mouth Shut”

  1. As a nursing professional if you have a workload or a patient that you just cannot work with this is when you talk to your charge, your manager, your peers and shift your patient load around. What was going through those nurses’ pea-brains as they were taping someone’s mouth shut? How about actually doing a nursing assessment and determining what was wrong with your patient instead of abusing them? I cannot even being to explain how livid this is making me. Have we all lost our flippin’ minds?

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