£100,000 fine following IV error

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Intravenous news: TimesOnline.co.uk report “A hospital trust that was fined £100,000 yesterday after a new mother died because of a mix-up between identical-looking drugs has apologised to her family.

Mayra Cabrera died hours after her son Zac was born when a nurse at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wiltshire, wrongly attached an epidural anaesthetic Bupivacaine to her intravenous drip instead of a saline solution. Mrs Cabrera, 30, who was a nurse at the same hospital, died within minutes. Her son survived.

Bristol Crown Court was told that the two drugs, which had similar packaging, were stored in the same cupboard, contrary to best practice.

Fining Great Western Hospitals NHS Trust £75,000 and ordering it to pay £25,000 costs, Mr Justice Clarke said that the tragedy in May 2004 arose because of systematic and individual fault.”

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