A 70 year old Nurse who had come out of retirement to allieviate staffing issues at a country hospital has killed a newborn baby by administering the
wrong drug to the mother during delivery.
Jaxson Heller died in August, 2002, three days after former Nhill Hospital midwife Thelma Natt injected his mother with the wrong drug during labour,
causing him brain damage.
The Horsham Coroner's Court heard that Ms Natt picked up the wrong syringe and instead of the painkiller pethidine, gave Jaxson's mother, Kellie
Hiscock, syntometrine, which made her uterus contract and caused Jaxson brain damage.
Nurse Toni Pretlove told the court that two hours after Jaxson was born, Dr Malcolm Anderson, who had delivered him, told her: "I don't want anyone
to know about this, Toni . . . we'll treat the baby as a pethidine baby."
Cross-examined by James Mighell, for Jaxson's parents, Dr Anderson said what he told Ms Pretlove was "a passing comment that I just made with the
enormity of everything that was bearing down on me".
"It was not meant to be a statement of complete fact, it was just a statement in passing . . . thinking out aloud," he said.
Pressed further, Dr Anderson admitted he knew immediately that Jaxson was adversely affected by syntometrine - not pethidine, which was given to his
mother later - but told Ms Pretlove to keep quiet in order to protect the hospital.
Her incompetance astounds me, and doesn't stop there. She once administered 3 times the amount of drug to a patient and also gave a patient valium
when it was initially refused.
This nurse deserves all that is coming to her, but the fault lies with the government and their funding to the health sector. This nurse shouldn't
be there, due to staffing shortages she was, and she killed.
[Edited on 25-2-2004 by Zion Mainframe]