Saturday, 26 September 2009

Deadliest month: As new doctors start in August, mortality rate in A&E departments rises by 6 per cent

If you're going to have an accident, you may want to avoid the first week of August. It is the most dangerous time to be admitted to accident and emergency, a study suggests.
Researchers found hospital mortality rates rise by 6 per cent on the first Wednesday in August.
Perhaps not coincidentally, that is also the day newly qualified doctors, fresh from medical school, are let loose on the wards of NHS hospitals.

Dr Paul Aylin, senior author of the study from the Dr Foster Unit at Imperial College London, said: 'We wanted to find out whether mortality rates changed on the first Wednesday in August, when junior doctors take up their new posts.
'What we have found looks like an interesting pattern and we would now like to look at this in more detail to find out what might be causing the increase.

'Our study does not mean that people should avoid going into hospital that week. This is a relatively small difference in mortality rates, and the numbers of excess deaths are very low.
'It's too early to say what might be causing it. It might simply be the result of differences between the patients who were admitted.'
The rise in deaths could, however, be caused by inexperienced junior doctors finding their feet - at a time when senior doctors are also more likely to be on holiday.

Full article in Daily Mail

Mother-of-five died from overdose of chemotherapy drug after gross neglect by hospital

An inquest jury today ruled that a cancer patient died as a result of manslaughter by gross neglect after she was mistakenly prescribed a lethal dose of chemotherapy.
Dr Jacqueline James admitted earlier this week at Bristol Coroner's Court prescribing Anna McKenna, 56, quadruple the amount of a chemotherapy drug required for her bone marrow cancer treatment.
The mother-of-five was diagnosed with Myeloma in March 2006 and put on a four-day course of Idarubicin.
But instead of getting 60mg of the drug over the course of four days, she was given the same amount on each of the four days.
Mrs McKenna, a housewife from Knowle, Bristol, was left with very few white blood cells and her immune system was severely impaired.
She had been given around two years to live and treatment could have prolonged her life, the inquest heard.
She died on April 18, 2006, just three weeks after her first chemotherapy session, after she developed complications including fever and renal failure.
Today, the jury returned a verdict of 'manslaughter by gross neglect'.
Mrs McKenna's husband David, a retired engineer, was in court to hear Dr James's evidence this week, during which the consultant said she was 'very sorry' the mistake was made.

Her error was not the sole factor in the tragedy, as staff at the pharmacy at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol failed to screen the dosage or challenge the figures.
Pathologist Dr Hugh White, who carried out the post mortem, said in a statement: 'Instead of being given 15mg over four days she was given four times this on each of the four days.

'Records show she had a normal white blood cell count, but following the chemotherapy she had vomiting, diarrhoea and pain.'
Shortly after the error, another patient was also given an overdose.
The hospital trust has now introduced several 'robust measures' to tighten up prescription screening practices, including having two pharmacists looking at each one.

Source: Daily Mail

Monday, 21 September 2009

Mum's heartbreak after NHS blamed for baby's death

A mother has spoken of the enduring heartbreak after her baby died from massive head injuries just hours after being born at a Kent hospital.

Carla and Johnny Bradbrook said their son Joshua died “suffering and in pain” at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford following a series of errors in his delivery.

Since his birth in June, 2005, his parents and clinical negligence specialists Irwin Mitchell have fought a protracted legal battle, which saw Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust finally admit liability for his death in December last year.

Mrs Bradbrook, 31, said that after the General Medical Council’s recent decision to dismiss their claim against the doctor who delivered Joshua they wanted to speak out and highlight their horrific experience.

“It is just the worst thing that could happen to anybody,” she said. “When you go full term you expect to have a baby.

“Labour and delivery is never the most normal thing to experience but he suffered, he was in pain and that is something we imagine and something that never goes away.”

The couple remain haunted by the fact their son was born with fractures to both sides of his skull after several attempts were made to force the birth with both a suction device and forceps.

But even after the trust admitted liability for his death, the GMC advised it would would not re-open its investigations because there were insufficient prospects of establishing that Dr Mohlala, the registrar who oversaw the birth, was unfit to practice.

Mrs Bradbrook said it was her first child and the couple put their trust completely in the doctor and nurses during labour.

“We feel people should be aware that these things happen. You cannot just put 100 per cent faith in doctors.”

Full article: Kent News

NHS nurse faces the sack for wearing her crucifix

Monday September 21,2009

By Cyril Dixon

A CHRISTIAN nurse is facing the sack for refusing to take off a cross around her neck – because it poses a “risk” to patients.

Devout Shirley Chaplin, 54, has worn the tiny one-inch crucifix ­since she started working at the hospital 31 years ago.

But NHS bosses now insist the silver cross is a health and safety risk and she must remove it.

They claim the necklace could endanger her or a patient if it was grabbed.

However, the hospital does accommodate other faith ­symbols, such as Muslim nurses’ head scarves.

Full article: Daily Express

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

NHS 'failed' over cannibal killer

NHS failures contributed to two people being killed by a man with schizophrenia after he was freed from a secure hospital, two inquiries suggest.

Peter Bryan, 39, of east London, killed a friend and ate parts of his brain in 2004 - two years after being released from Rampton, in Nottinghamshire.

He then went on to kill a patient after being sent to Broadmoor.

The independent reports into the deaths said while Bryan was a unique case, more should have been done to stop him.

The inquiries, carried out for NHS London, the body which oversees health services in the capital, blamed system failures instead of individuals for the mistakes.

However, they acknowledge he was a difficult case because he could go through long periods without showing any signs of overt mental illness.

Bryan was first sent to Rampton secure hospital after beating 20-year-old shop assistant Nisha Sheth to death with a hammer in 1993.

In 2002 he was released into the community after applying to a mental health tribunal and allowed to live as a care in the community out-patient.

He was sent to a hostel where residents have their own front door and room key.

But after an allegation of an indecent assault on a 17-year-old girl, Bryan was sent back to hospital, but this time he was only an informal patient on an open ward at Newham General Hospital in east London.

In February 2004, he walked out of the unit and killed his friend Brian Cherry, 45, before frying and eating parts of his brain. He had also started to dismember the body.

He was arrested and after appearing in court was sent to another secure hospital, Broadmoor.

Within weeks of arriving, Bryan attacked fellow patient, Richard Loudwell, 59, who later died.

In court, he pleaded guilty to killing both men on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

One psychiatrist who interviewed Bryan concluded that he was "probably the most dangerous man he had ever assessed".

Full article: BBC News

Doctors left premature baby to die because he was born two days too early

By Vanessa Allen and Andrew Levy
Last updated at 7:50 AM on 09th September 2009

Doctors left a premature baby to die because he was born two days too early, his devastated mother claimed yesterday.

Sarah Capewell begged them to save her tiny son, who was born just 21 weeks and five days into her pregnancy - almost four months early.

They ignored her pleas and allegedly told her they were following national guidelines that babies born before 22 weeks should not be given medical treatment.

Miss Capewell, 23, said doctors refused to even see her son Jayden, who lived for almost two hours without any medical support.

She said he was breathing unaided, had a strong heartbeat and was even moving his arms and legs, but medics refused to admit him to a special care baby unit.

Miss Capewell is now fighting for a review of the medical guidelines.

Full article in Daily Mail

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Agency that hired death doctor Daniel Ubani is handed fresh NHS deal

An agency that supplied the NHS with a doctor who killed a patient with a drug overdose has had its contract renewed.

Dr Daniel Ubani, 66, a German-registered medic originally from Nigeria, gave tragic David Gray 10 times the safe dose of diamorphine.

Mr Gray, 70, who had kidney stones and was in pain with colic, died shortly afterwards in February 2008.

Take Care Now, the agency that sent Dr Ubani is being investigated over its services in five care trust areas.

But NHS Cambridgeshire is extending its contract to provide them with out-ofhours doctors for two months. Lib Dem Cllr Geoff Heathcock said it was "worrying". The trust said it was to allow time for a "rigorous process" to procure service providers.