Medical error: fine and prison for an intern and a nurse

Medical error: fine and prison for an intern and a nurse
Written by TEWSV

After the death of a 70-year-old woman at the Brest CHRU in 2016, the intern, the doctor and the nurse responsible for her care appeared for manslaughter before the Brest Criminal Court on Thursday 8 September. The sentence will be delivered on 10 November.

On June 20, 2016, a 70-year-old patient arrived at Brest University Hospital for a minor operation, which required under general anesthesia. She came in at 7:30, she went into cardiac arrest at 9:00. At 12:30 she fell into an artificial coma and was pronounced dead. The nurse and the anesthetist, as well as the intern on duty, testified at the Brest Criminal Court on Thursday 8 September, more than six years after the events.

The first medical error occurs at the time of intubation. Instead of placing the tube in the trachea, the nurse places it in the esophagus. “The anesthetist nurse does not admit her failure. You decide to solve the intubation problem yourself. Without notifying the senior anesthetist “, explains the expert at the helm. And for the nurse, the cardiac arrest that occurred shortly after intubation has no connection with her mistake. “We left with a bronchospasm, there is a kind of amazement in those moments. It’s the tunnel effect. Reflex actions “remembers the nurse.

The intern makes a second mistake by not warning the senior doctor. His patient, on the other hand, did “All signs of a wrong turn”. He defends himself: “I was influenced by the experience the nurse said she had.”

The senior anesthetist is finally called when the vital signs become “very pejorative”. With four anesthesia rooms at her disposal, she explains that she was prescribing when the errors occurred and was not notified. “Nothing told me there were problems.” Despite “Normally, I come every half hour.” For the anesthetist “the critical moment of the operation is intubation.” The victim’s attorney continues: “Yet it follows a misdiagnosis, it doesn’t question the oxygen problem. Appropriate intervention on her part would save her.

Consequently, the CHRU has therefore taken “Twelve corrective”. But “the lack of clarity on the correct protocols” is still to be deplored.

The prosecutor then asked for the release of the elderly doctor, a fine of 1,000 euros with suspension of the sentence for the intern and a 10-month prison sentence with suspension of the sentence for the anesthetist nurse. Judging will take place on 10 November.

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