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Published on 27 May 2008

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Trust fined £75k for “human error”

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One of the UK’s top hospital trusts has been fined £75,000 after a “massive” prescription blunder resulted in the death of a premature baby girl.

The child, who was being cared for at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, died of hyperglycaemia after “human error” resulted in her being given five times the prescribed amount of glucose.

An investigation discovered a technician in the pharmaceutical department at Guy’s Hospital, which had been asked to fulfil the prescription, had simply “pressed the wrong button”, London’s Southwark Crown Court heard.

As a result a bag of total parental nutrition (TPN) ordered for Jada Pilkington Asanye contained more than 37% of glucose instead of the recommended 7%.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust had earlier admitted one count of supplying a medicinal product otherwise than in accordance with the prescription.

Passing sentence, Judge Loraine-Smith, said it was clear “human error” led to Jada’s death. “I have to sentence the trust for this offence against a background of its excellent reputation, but recognising the awful truth that their error was a contributing factor in the tragic death of a young baby.”

The judge added that in addition to the fine the Trust would also have to pay £2,916 prosecution costs.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust



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