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Sunday, 20 May 2007

NHS hospital patients dying as 10,000 injections are bungled...

Patients dying as 10,000 injections bungled - Sunday Telegraph


"Hospitals across Britain have been ordered to review how drugs are given to patients after figures revealed that almost 10,000 injections are bungled each year.

Mistakes led to the deaths of 25 patients and harmed more than 3,000 between January 2005 and June 2006, a study found.

In all, 14,000 errors were discovered during the 18 months assessed by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA), a watchdog created to advise the NHS on safety matters.

Most involved administering wrong dosages. Other errors included injecting drugs into the wrong part of the patient's body, incorrectly formulating medicine, wrongly storing products, giving patients drugs to which they were allergic or failing to administer prescribed drugs. As a result, the NPSA has told all hospitals to carry out a risk assessment of the products they use and ordered them not to skimp on safety on the grounds of cost."

"Six years ago, Wayne Jowett, a teenager, died in agony after the highly toxic drug vincristine was injected into his spine when it should have been injected into a vein. The lethal blunder came when two chemotherapy drugs stored in similar syringes were mixed up.

The 18-year-old, who was in remission from leukaemia, suffered irreparable nerve damage, causing excruciating pain, followed by creeping paralysis and organ failure.

His father, also called Wayne, who has campaigned for the development of a new type of connector that would make it impossible to pump drugs intended for the veins into the spine, said that neither the NPSA alert nor the pilot schemes went far enough. Mr Jowett, 47, from Nottingham, said: "We don't think enough has been done. We are just waiting for a case like Wayne's to happen again.""

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