Four-Month-Old Baby Dies After 'Drug Error'

26/11/2010 21:23 | Updated 22 May 2015

Two nurses have told an inquest into the death of a four-month-old baby that they did not know how the error which led to his death occurred.

Samuel McIntosh died at Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) in July last year after he was given 10 times the prescribed dose of sodium chloride.

Nottingham Coroner's Court heard how Sister Karen Thomas and staff nurse Louisa Swinburn were 'distracted' by another member of staff as they prepared the solution to regulate Samuel's salt levels.

The baby ended up with a 50ml dose despite a registrar prescribing 5ml. The solution had also not been mixed with dextrose, which was required.

Karen Thomas, who was in charge of the unit at the time of Samuel's death told the inquest that she had no clear memory of what she actually did:

'As we were getting ready to prepare it...there was a bit of an interruption. Then we turned back. I don't remember at any point being uncertain.'

Louisa Swinburn said in her evidence that she could not recall opening five 10ml vials of sodium chloride: 'Nothing occurred to me at all that we had made an error.'

Coroner Dr Nigel Chapman was asked by the solicitor acting for Samuel's parents to consider a verdict of unlawful killing, but instead he recorded a narrative verdict after ruling Samuel died after a 'drug error'.

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