Baby Almost Killed After Being Wrongly Injected At Hospital
A routine scan at a hospital in Western Sydney after a simple fall almost cost one-year-old Declan Campbell his life earlier this year.
It’s been revealed that baby Declan was rushed to Nepean Hospital’s emergency department after he fell from his cot one day back in February and received a big lump on his head.
Staff at the hospital advised that the boy undergo a CT scan to properly assess his injury, however, his young age meant that he needed to be sedated for the procedure.
It should have been a simple procedure however a critical error almost led to the boy’s death. A doctor treating Declan injected him with the wrong syringe, causing his lips to turn blue and he struggled to breathe.
Declan’s mother, Ms Newsome, said that she immediately knew something was wrong.
“His body just froze,” said Ms Newsome. “He was just limp. He was just nothing. He went straight pale. I said to the doctor ‘something’s wrong’. He just picked the kid up and ran.”
Ms Newsome also said that Declan stopped breathing for 90 seconds and she knew that something had gone terribly wrong when a staff member began crying. The discharge papers for Declan confirmed that a mistake had been made.
“In emergency, ED doctor accidentally administered 12mg of intravenous Suxamethonium instead of administering 12mg of Ketamine to child,” the papers read.
Suxamethonium is used during general anaesthesia to cause short-term paralysis but is much more powerful than ketamine which is mainly used for starting and maintaining anaesthesia. Syringes containing each of these drugs were kept on the same tray at the hospital.
Mr Newsome, Declan’s father, had been at work when he received the call that something had gone wrong and he rushed to Nepean Hospital.
“Something should have been so simple,” said Mr Campbell. “Just go for a quick CT scan just to make sure he had no problems and it happened to turn out to be he nearly died.”
The hospital apologised and told the couple that a full investigation into how the mistake occurred would be launched.
“While the baby was in the emergency department, the treating doctor apologised for the mistake and provided full disclosure, explaining to the parents what had happened and a social worker provided support to the parents,” said Nepean Hospital’s director of medical services, Dr Peter Thomas, to 9NEWS.
“The Director of Emergency Department also met with the parents that day and apologised. The baby recovered and the Hospital will implement the recommendations of the review to prevent the mistake from happening again.”
Health Minister Brad Hazard said that hospitals are always trying to improve and do better but sometimes no matter how hard they try, human mistakes will occur.
“Nepean Hospital is an incredible hospital with first-class staff but like any hospital anywhere in the world, it is a human system and from time to time mistakes will occur,” he said.
“My message to the staff is we must learn from those mistakes and ensure we don’t repeat them and that’s very clearly the efforts being made by the health staff at Nepean.”
The Newsome family and Nepean Hospital are due to have a meeting in the next two weeks.