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Nurse convicted of unlawful killing after giving patient wrong blood type

A nurse who gave a patient who later died the wrong type of blood has been convicted of unlawful killing by gross negligence.
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A nurse who gave a patient who later died the wrong type of blood has been convicted of unlawful killing by gross negligence.

Lea Ledesma made a series of mistakes which led to Ali Huseyin, 76, being given type AB blood during a transfusion even though he was blood group O.

The 49-year-old senior staff nurse at the Heart Hospital in Londons Westmoreland Street was found guilty on Wednesday following a trial at Southwark Crown Court, the Metropolitan Police said.

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH), which employed Ms Ledesma before its cardiac services transferred to Barts Health NHS Trust, has since introduced an extra checking process for blood transfusion.

Wrong records

Mr Huseyin had been in the care of Ms Ledesma

A nurse who gave a patient who later died the wrong type of blood has been convicted of unlawful killing by gross negligence.


Lea Ledesma was found guilty this week, following a trial at Southwark Crown Court. Picture: iStock

Lea Ledesma made a series of mistakes which led to Ali Huseyin, 76, being given type AB blood during a transfusion even though he was blood group O.

The 49-year-old senior staff nurse at the Heart Hospital in London’s Westmoreland Street was found guilty on Wednesday following a trial at Southwark Crown Court, the Metropolitan Police said.

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH), which employed Ms Ledesma before its cardiac services transferred to Barts Health NHS Trust, has since introduced an extra checking process for blood transfusion.

Wrong records

Mr Huseyin had been in the care of Ms Ledesma after a successful heart bypass operation in May 2014.

However, he died the next evening after a number of errors on Ledesma’s part saw her choose the wrong blood when the patient required a transfusion. She then went on to check the blood type against the wrong computer records.

Ms Ledesma initially tried to pass off the error as being a colleague’s mistake and only when questioned further did she admit to being distracted and flustered when checking the patient details, police said.

‘Incredibly difficult’ 

The nurse, of Stevenage in Hertfordshire, is due to be sentenced on February 9 next year.

Metropolitan Police Homicide and Major Crime Command Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn said: ‘This was a difficult and tragic case for all involved.

‘Our sympathies continue to remain with the family of Ali Huseyin and I hope today’s verdict will bring some comfort after what has been an incredibly difficult time for them.’

UCLH chief nurse Flo Panel-Coates said: 'We would like to reiterate our deepest sympathies to Mr Huseyin’s family. We are very sorry for their loss.
 
'Following this tragic incident, we immediately launched an investigation.

'It found there was a failure to follow our policies and procedures to ensure that the correct blood was collected from the fridge and that the patient was correctly identified before transfusion began. 
 
'Following the incident we also immediately introduced an extra checking process for blood transfusion, on top of the existing procedure.

'Two members of staff who are trained in blood transfusion must now independently check that the details on a blood product match those on the patient’s wristband before administration.'

 

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