The incident occurred at London Heart Hospital in Marylebone.
48-year-old Lea Ledesma, gave 76-year-old Ali Huseyin, AB-type blood that was actually meant for Irfan Hussain, a 37-year-old. Ali Huseyin was blood type 0.
A physician ordered the blood transfusion when the patient was draining excessive blood into his chest drain, after heart bypass surgery.
Nurse Ledesma accidentally wrote Mr Hussain’s patient identification number on her hand instead of Mr Huseyin’s, according to Southwark Crown Court.
Although Ledesma is a seasoned nurse and she noticed that the blood didn’t match the patient, she still administered the transfusion. It immediately became clear that he had been given the wrong blood type when he suffered a fatal heart attack and another nurse checked the blood and noted that it was the wrong patient ID number.
Ledesma was found guilty of manslaughter today with a jury of eight men and four women, who deliberated for several hours before reaching a verdict.
Ledesma was devastated when the verdict was read. She hid her face and cried.
Jurors were informed that each nurse was only responsible for the care of one patient in the ICU and they do have policies and procedures in place to avoid mistakes like this, but Ledesma did not follow protocol.
Ledesma wrote Mr Hussain’s eight-digit patient number on her hand but failed to take any documentation with her before getting the blood.
She didn’t notice the mistake while the dispensing machine printed out a receipt of the unit of blood.
This makes me wonder if the same protocol for two nurses to sign off on blood is required in England. Maybe one of our British nurses in the community can shed some light on that question?