State regulators have indefinitely banned a respiratory therapist from practicing in Minnesota after she failed to properly prepare a patient for transfer to the intensive care unit before they stopped breathing and died.
The Minnesota Board of Medical Practice announced Wednesday that it has suspended indefinitely the license of Christine L. Fairchild, 33, of Chisholm, stemming from the patient's death on Nov. 30, 2021.
A board investigation noted that Fairchild was making preparations for a patient's transfer from the emergency room to the intensive care unit (ICU). The patient was on a ventilator at the time, however, the investigation determined that he "was not properly oxygenated or ventilated for a period of time," the board's suspension order read.
The patient "was unable to breathe on his own" because of Fairchild's "failure to properly prepare [the patient] for a safe transfer to the ICU," the order continued.
The order did not offer specifics about what was improper about Fairchild's care, nor did it identify the patient or reveal why he was in the hospital.
The order also did not specify the hospital where he was being treated. Board records show Fairchild's last place of licensed employment was the Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby.
Messages were left Thursday with Fairchild and the medical center to confirm where she was working at the time and for reaction to the board's suspension order. A medical center spokeswoman would neither confirm nor deny that the death occurred at its hospital.
Fairchild, who had been a licensed respiratory therapist in Minnesota since 2015, was fired on Dec. 14, 2021, three weeks after the patient's death, the order read.
In February 2022, Fairchild submitted to the board a written response to the allegations surrounding the death. The board scheduled conferences about its investigation that were to include Fairchild, but she did not appear, the order highlighted.
The board ordered her license suspended indefinitely as of Nov. 28. Fairchild does reserve the right to petition to have her license reinstated, which would require her to appear before the board and discuss her treatment of the patient, and what plans she might have as a respiratory therapist.