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Hospitalized Babies given Nitrous Oxide, instead of Oxygen, Leaves One Infant Dead

  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    A newborn has died and another has been "severely affected" after nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, was incorrectly administered instead of oxygen at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital in Sydney's south-west. NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner said in a statement a machine in the neonatal resuscitation unit had been incorrectly installed. The incidents occurred this month and last month.

    Ms Skinner said she was "profoundly sorry" and the operating theatre in question had been corrected but remained closed. "I deeply regret these families have suffered through such a devastating error," she said. "NSW Health will do all it can to support them."

    Ms Skinner said hospital staff met with the families over the past weekend for "open disclosure" of the facts. According to the Minister, the error was discovered last week when a paediatrician raised concerns following the death of one of the babies. Hospital management is certain no other babies received gas from the affected outlet, she added. Ms Skinner said the oxygen outlet was incorrectly installed by BOC Limited in July 2015 and the Government had contacted the company "demanding urgent advice" on how it occurred.

    Gas company to conduct internal investigation

    In a statement, BOC said it was saddened by incident and it was important "to identify the exact cause of this tragedy. We deeply regret that these families are suffering pain and sorrow," it said. "As soon as BOC was notified of the situation we cooperated fully with all investigations being undertaken by the NSW Government - the hospital, the NSW coroner, and the Ministry of Health teams. BOC added it was also conducting its own internal investigation.

    Government must launch independent investigation: Labor

    The Minister also said she had sought urgent advice on how the error happened and whether hospital staff followed protocols. She also said every medical gas outlet in a NSW Health facility installed since the Liberal Government came to power in 2011 would be checked. The Opposition's health spokesman Walt Secord said Ms Skinner must launch an independent review.

    "This is every parent's nightmare, [it's] absolutely distressing," Mr Secord said. "This is why the Health Minister must launch an immediate external investigation. There's no point the Department of Health investigating itself. Once it's investigated I want to see that after the families are consulted, that report is released publicly."

    ABC News/July 25, 2016
    Photo: Michele Mossop, smh.au
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    Another Infant, also given Nitrous Oxide by error, in Critical Condition

    [IMGR=white]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=51298&stc=1&d=1469468877[/IMGR]A baby has died and another is in a critical condition after they were given nitrous oxide instead of oxygen at a Sydney hospital. The New South Wales health minister, Jillian Skinner, said she was “profoundly sorry” for the families and it was an installation error by BOC Limited that led to the wrong gas being emitted.

    The babies who were given nitrogen gas – also known as laughing gas – were born in June and July this year but the wrong gas had been installed last year and not picked up by staff. One of the babies died on Friday, while the other is still fighting for life in hospital.

    “I am profoundly sorry for the families of a newborn baby who died and another who was severely affected after the wrong gas was dispensed through a neonatal resuscitation outlet at Bankstown-Lidcombe hospital,” Skinner said on Monday night. I deeply regret these families have suffered through such a devastating error. NSW Health will do all it can to support them. he families were told of the wrongly installed gas outlet in discussions over the weekend that Skinner referred to as “open disclosure of the facts around the births."

    The oxygen outlet was incorrectly installed and certified by BOC Limited in July 2015, according to Skinner.

    “The error was discovered after a pediatrician raised concerns about the unexpected death of the second baby,” she said. “Testing of the gas outlets found one oxygen outlet was emitting nitrous oxide instead of oxygen.”

    No other baby received gas from the affected outlet.

    The legal general council for NSW Health has written to BOC Limited demanding urgent advice on how the error occurred and if there are systemic issues at other hospital sites serviced by BOC. There will also be a formal investigation into whether the hospital staff followed protocols that may have the detected the installation error last year. Bankstown-Lidcombe hospital has checked all eight theatres and found no further faults. Every medical gas outlet installed in a NSW Health facility commissioned under the current government is being checked.

    By Birdie Jabour - The Guardian/July 25, 2016
    Photo: Dan Himbrechts, AAP
    Newshawk Crew
  2. detoxin momma
    Re: Hospitalized Babies given Nitrous Oxide, instead of Oxygen, Leaves One Infant Dea

    wow, i can't even begin to imagine how i would feel! those poor parents.
    whoever was responsible for messing with those outlets should be permenantly banned from working in a hospital ever again!

    accidents happen, sure, but no way something like that should happen more than once.
    what a sad story.
  3. Beenthere2Hippie
    Re: Hospitalized Babies given Nitrous Oxide, instead of Oxygen, Leaves One Infant Dea

    It's a very sad story and one that is haunting. We live in such a fast-moving, only half-checking world these days. Anything can happen, as all this murder and unrest around the globe seems to stand as testament to. You're right, Momma. I can't even imagine what I'd do or how I'd feel if someone came to me and told me that my child had died, due to a human error that seems plain stupid and avoidable.

    My heart, like yours, goes out to the families affected by such a terrible mistake.
  4. chibi curmudgeon
    Re: Hospitalized Babies given Nitrous Oxide, instead of Oxygen, Leaves One Infant Dea

    A-fucking-men. These kind of incidents are also every pharmacist's nightmare, and plenty of research has demonstrated that being pressed for time is the primary problem. Some tasks are too important--literally a matter of life and death--to rush. The next time you drop off a script to be filled, if at all possible, tell the staff you'll pick it up tomorrow. Or the day after. If you're in pain or withdrawal or any other legit reason, let them know, but if you can wait, that extra time may save your life.
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