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Wrong blood type nurse given suspended sentence

A nurse who gave a patient who later died the wrong type of blood has been handed a suspended prison sentence.
Southwark Crown Court_tile_iStock.jpg

A nurse who gave a patient who later died the wrong type of blood has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Lea Ledesma, a senior staff nurse at the Heart Hospital in Londons Westmoreland Street, was found guilty of unlawfully killing Ali Huseyin by gross negligence at Southwark Crown Court on 14 December.

She was yesterday sentenced at the same court to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years, ordered to complete 200 hours of community service and pay a 140 victim surcharge.

Difficult and tragic

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

A nurse who gave a patient who later died the wrong type of blood has been given a suspended prison sentence.


The case, which saw a nurse convicted of unlawfully killing a patient, was heard at
Southwark Crown Court. Picture: iStock

Lea Ledesma, a senior staff nurse at the Heart Hospital in London’s Westmoreland Street, was found guilty of unlawfully killing Ali Huseyin by gross negligence at Southwark Crown Court on 14 December.

She was yesterday sentenced at the same court to 18 months’ in prison, suspended for two years, ordered to complete 200 hours of community service and pay a £140 victim surcharge.

‘Difficult and tragic’

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 this will bring some comfort after what has been an incredibly difficult time for them.’

Mr Huseyin, who was blood type O, 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 Ms Ledesma’s part saw her choose the wrong blood type (AB) when the patient required a transfusion. 

She then went on to check the blood type against the wrong computer records.

Error

Mr Huseyin died later that evening. A post-mortem examination concluded the death was caused by the administration of an incompatible unit of blood.

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.

The Guardian reported that Anthony Metzer QC, defending, described the case as a 'double tragedy' and said Ms Ledesma was 'anxious to accept full blame' and had shown extreme remorse. 

It added that Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said he had rarely, if ever, seen so many character references and letters of support for a defendent.

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.

Immediately after the death of Mr Huseyin, UCLH investigated and found there had been a failure to follow policies and procedures for transfusion, chief nurse Flo Panel-Coates said.

‘We would like to reiterate our deepest sympathies to Mr Huseyin’s family,’ she said.

‘We are very sorry for their loss. Following the incident we also immediately introduced an extra checking process for blood transfusion, on top of the standard procedure.’


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