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RNs, Family Protest Denial of Critical Surgery for Orange County ICU Nurse
Date:3/7/2008

Nurses' Campaign Floods Blue Cross with Message: Save Our Colleague

COSTA MESA, Calif., March 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Registered nurses, family, and concerned community members will protest Blue Cross of California in support of 46-year-old Kim Kutcher, RN, as she battles Blue Cross and its decision to sentence her to a possible lifetime of disability by denying her back surgery that doctors and nurses believe is critically important.

The nurses will accompany the family and demand to speak directly to a Blue Cross corporate decision maker. Kutcher vows to go through with her surgery scheduled for March 11 at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, even if she has to pay out of pocket and lose her house in the process.

Blue Cross Protest

When: Monday, March 10, 1:00 p.m.

Where: Blue Cross Office

3070 Bristol St. # 400

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee put out a call to nurses from around the country who have flooded Blue Cross' offices with calls and faxes, in an urgent appeal to the insurance company to overturn its decision and save the health of their colleague.

Kutcher has degenerative disc disease -- related to her years of nursing -- and her neurosurgeon recommends an artificial disc to solve the problem and allow her to return to work as a critical care nurse. Calling the procedure "investigational," despite the FDA's approval of it, Blue Cross is instead pushing a different high-risk procedure that will fuse two of her discs together.

"I am getting this procedure because I want to get back to work as a critical care nurse. I have been on state disability for nine months and I am in severe pain," said Kutcher. "I have grave doubts about my chances to return as an RN if I have the procedure recommended by Blue Cross, which is spinal fusion. I have been unable to find a single critical care nurs
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SOURCE California Nurses Association
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