• Local nurse accused of assaulting patient, speaks out


    IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. - A local nurse is telling her side of the story, after she was arrested, accused of tying a 91 year-old patient to a bed.

    Authorities said she also sprayed lotion in the patient’s face.

    Tamara Brito’s attorney spoke to Channel 9 and said the charges against Brito are completely false.

    Brito claims the patient was combative and aggressive and often left her with bruises.

    Defense attorney Martin Gottholm said Brito worked at Iredell Memorial for 30 years with an impeccable record.

    He said the elderly patient in this case was on a restraint free floor but Brito used a pillowcase to stop him from lashing out while she cared for him.

    “Then she took his arm, placed it down, so his arm was not taped to the bed rail, and put the tape around the pillowcase. So he could not take his arm and swing at her or the CNA,” Gottholm said.

    Regarding the claims Brito sprayed lotion in the patient's face, Gottholm said a skin cleaner lotion got on his face while Brito cleaned the patient after he spit out applesauce containing his medication.

    Her attorney also claims police did not properly investigate the case.

    Brito is no longer in jail. She has posted bond and will be back in court in June.

    An Iredell County nurse is accused of repeatedly assaulting a 91-year-old man who suffers from dementia.

    Statesville police said the man’s daughter reported the assaults at Iredell Memorial Hospital.

    Tamara Hager Brito has been arrested in connection with the case.

    Police said, on March 1, Brito tied the man to his bed and sprayed him in the face with a cleansing body lotion.

    Brito sprayed the victim in the face again on March 4 when he was uncooperative, authorities said.

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    Brito is charged with two counts of assault on a handicapped person and one count of false imprisonment.

    Iredell Health System President and CEO Ed Rush released the following statement:

    “The employees at Iredell Memorial are very committed to providing the highest quality of care to all of our patients. Any allegations of inappropriate conduct are taken seriously and carefully investigated. We want to assure the community that nothing is more important to Iredell Memorial than providing excellent patient care. The actions of one individual do not reflect the hard work and dedication of the more than 1500 individuals who work every day to safely provide quality healthcare with compassion to our patients.” 

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