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Inexperienced nurse and understaffing caused patient death

A 34 year old man who was being treated in hospital for removal of his appendix died after a junior nurse administered intravenous pethidine for pain relief without prior doctor orders or consent. She failed to carry out regular observations during her shift and it was not until the following morning that the man was found deceased, later believed to be due to an arrhythmia. The man had early had incorrect surgery performed, where a stomach cyst was removed and not his appendix, but this error was not found to be linked to his death. The inquiry committee cited that overcrowding, too little medical resources, and too few staff factored in the manís death. The nurse has been removed from employment at the hospital.

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About: Inexperienced nurse and understaffing caused patient death

Date: 8 November 2005


Author: Ran Reznick


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