​SSN Damian Liew from Ward 56 emphasised the importance of staying vigilant to ensure safety and avoid potential harm to patients.

On 5 December 2022, Senior Staff Nurse (SSN) Damian Liew from Ward 56 was caring for a patient who underwent minimally invasive surgery that required small incisions in the chest area. After the surgery, a chest drainage pump was inserted through one of the incisions to drain fluid or air from the chest cavity for a few days.

During the handover round in the evening, SSN Damian did not detect anything amiss – the chest drainage pump was working fine. However, a few hours later at 11pm, an unfamiliar sound drew his attention. Upon inspection, SSN Damian identified a hairline crack at the back of the chest tube bottle. The crack, which was in an obscure position, might have easily been overlooked if not for his meticulous examination. He said, “For the safety of the patient and to prevent any complications, I immediately clamped the tubing to the patient and changed the bottle aseptically”. 

The chest tube bottle used for post-surgery patients.

His swift actions prevented further air leakage from the chest tube bottle. He then quickly notified the on-call doctor and closely monitored the patient. Subsequently, no additional air leaks occurred, preventing severe complications such as pneumothorax.

Damian’s proactive commitment to patient safety extends beyond his assigned duties. “He actively seeks opportunities to enhance the work environment for both patients and colleagues. For instance, he collaborated with several nurses in the ward to develop a night light that allows nurses to perform their duties without disturbing patients at night,” shared Acting Senior Nurse Manager Belinda Wong, Ward 56.

During their shift work, nurses must update patient information in the computer system via computer-on-wheels (COWs). During night shift when room lights were turned off or dimmed, and nurses had to resort to the use of light source from their mobile devices to aid them in entering information on the keyboard. After noticing the difficulties, SSN Damian surfaced the problem, and together with Assistant Director, Nursing, Jonathan Sim from Nursing Informatics, they gathered a team to work on this project. Initially, a clip-on light was used on the COWs but it did not provide enough illumination. SSN Damian later came up with the idea of soldering an LED strip with a USB connected to a switch attached to the COWs. This useful solution was well-received in Ward 56 and was built into the new version of COWs.

The night light enhances the visibility of the keyboard while also making sure nurses do not have to strain their eyes while typing.

A safe workplace creates a safe environment for both patients and staff so that uninterrupted care can be provided to the patient. SSN Damian's vigilance and steadfast attitude towards zero harm have safeguarded our patients and fellow colleagues.
Congratulations once again to SSN Damian on being conferred the SingHealth Family Target Zero Harm 2023 Individual Award!