A former Kaiser hospital nurse in Redwood City received four days in county jail this week for punching a 91-year-old female patient in the mouth, a prosecutor said.

Joan Rogers, 61, of San Carlos, told a supervisor she was defending herself from a combative patient, the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office reported. Rogers had been trying to give the elderly woman medication through her IV line when the incident occurred.

Another Kaiser Permanente Medical Center employee heard the patient yell at Rogers to stop hitting her and saw Rogers strike the victim in the mouth with a fist in a hammer-like motion, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

The patient suffered a cut to her lip that bled profusely, Wagstaffe said. The other employee reported the incident to a supervisor.

On Monday, Rogers pleaded no contest to one count of misdemeanor elder abuse. She was sentenced to four days in county jail and placed on two years of probation.

The county could only seek a misdemeanor charge because the injury to the elderly patient was minor, Wagstaffe said. He also noted that Rogers had no previous criminal record.

"From how it was described to me, she was trying to help this patient and got frustrated," Wagstaffe said. "But she expressed this frustration in a way that we're not allowed to do."


Advertisement

E-mail Bonnie Eslinger at beslinger@dailynewsgroup.com.