A nurse who administered an overdose of salt to a baby who later died has been struck off the medical register.
The concentration of sodium chloride was approximately 10 times that expected from the prescription for four-month-old Samuel McIntosh, who died at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) in July 2009.
An inquest into the death the following year heard that two nurses who were involved in the “dreadful mistake” which led to the death could not explain how the error occurred.
The inquest heard that Sister Karen Thomas and staff nurse Louisa Swinburn were “distracted” by another staff member as they prepared a solution to correct Samuel’s low salt levels.
As a result of the mistake, Samuel was wrongly given 50ml of a sodium chloride solution despite a registrar prescribing just 5ml.
Staff nurse Swinburn was struck off by a fitness to practise panel of the conduct and competence committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Council in London today.
Tests carried out on a syringe after the mistake was spotted showed that the sodium chloride had also not been mixed with dextrose, as required by the prescription.
The error meant the infusion given to Samuel was 10 times the required concentration, causing swelling to his brain from which he died.
Samuel was born prematurely at Nottingham’s City Hospital on March 1 2009, and weighed 1lb 4oz (580g) - around a sixth of the normal weight for a full-term baby.
He was transferred to the QMC aged 18 days and although he required intravenous feeding and underwent a bowel operation and eye surgery, his weight eventually rose to 6lb 3oz (2.8kg) and he would have been expected to survive.
Swinburn has 28 days to appeal against the decision of the panel. A suspension order is in place to prevent her working as a nurse.