Nurse struck off for fatal medication error

by JoelLane 23. September 2013 15:43

Stafford 2 web A nurse has been struck off for causing a patient’s death at Stafford Hospital in 2007 by failing to administer medication.

Gillian Astbury, 66, died at the hospital because she had not been given insulin despite it being on her record that she was a type 1 diabetic.

Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust is being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive for causing the death of Ms Astbury, who was admitted after suffering a stroke.

Nurse Ann King was found to have failed to carry out blood tests or provide the necessary medication, and to have lied about giving medication.

Another nurse, Jeannette Coulson, who also failed to provide appropriate care to the dying patient has been given a three-year caution.

The trust apologised for the “appalling care” that Ms Astbury received, and noted that both nurses had since left the trust.

However, four senior doctors who worked at Stafford Hospital during the patient neglect and abuse scandal will not face disciplinary action.

The General Medical Council (GMC) has said that Dr John Gibson, Dr Valerie Suarez, Dr David Durrans and Dr Diarmuid Mulherin will not be held to account, as legal advice said there was “no realistic prospect” of proving negligence.

GMC Chief Executive Niall Dickson said he is in discussion with the DH regarding the Council’s rules, under which it can only discipline a doctor if it proves that he or she performed below standard and is an ongoing danger to patients.

The GMC argues that cases should be judged on past conduct alone.

Stafford patient died for lack of insulin

by JoelLane 12. April 2013 14:26

Standard_insulin_syringe The first criminal investigation into a death at Stafford General Hospital has found that a patient with a broken hip died as a result of not being given insulin.

Gillian Astbury, aged 66, died in 2007 in a diabetic coma after a new nursing team failed to read her clinical notes.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is investigating the death as a possible criminal violation of the Health and Safety at Work Act, punishable by a fine.

This is the first criminal investigation arising from the Mid-Staffs tragedy, and the first instance of failure to give medication being considered as a crime.

Ms Astbury was admitted to Stafford General Hospital in 2007 with hip and arm fractures following a fall. Her partner reported finding her left without food or cleaning on several occasions.

The inquest jury concluded: “Nursing facilities were poor, staff levels were too low, training was poor, and record keeping and communications systems were poor and inadequately managed.”

The Francis inquiry said the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust had put “corporate self-interest and cost control ahead of quality and patient safety”.

However, NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson blamed the deaths on the Labour Government’s infection control and waiting time targets, which he said monopolised clinical attention in hospitals.

The HSE commented that it will focus on “establishing whether there is evidence of the employer or individuals failing to comply with their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act.”

The case could have implications for many situations in which healthcare professionals administer medication.

Diabetic riders hit the road with Novo Nordisk

by JoelLane 4. December 2012 13:34

Team NN web2 Novo Nordisk has partnered with sporting organisations to launch a global sports team with more than 100 cyclists and athletes, all of whom have diabetes.

Team Novo Nordisk will compete in more than 500 sporting events worldwide in 2013, promoting effective diabetes control as a road to health and success.

The global team comprises cyclists, runners and triathletes, including the world’s first all-diabetic professional men’s cycling team.

The cyclists will compete in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, the Tour of Britain and the Paris-Tours, with the goal of qualifying for the Tour de France.

“We stand for what life with diabetes can be like,” said Phil Southerland, founder of Team Novo Nordisk. “Exercise is that billion-dollar drug that nobody ever gets prescribed, and in my experience is the best of them all.”

Jakob Riis, Novo Nordisk’s Senior Vice President, Global Marketing and Global Medical Affairs, commented: “As part of our long-standing Changing Diabetes programme, this partnership provides a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness, and educate, empower and inspire people with diabetes.”

Changing Diabetes is Novo Nordisk’s global advocacy and partner platform, working to promote the prevention and early diagnosis of diabetes, as well as more effective treatment and care.

The Danish company has specialised in the treatment of diabetes for nearly 90 years, but only in the last decade has it seen the disease area become the developed world’s leading health issue.

FDA approves self-monitoring blood glucose strips

by emma 30. September 2011 15:45

MB product news

The FDA has approved Roche’s new generation of Accu-Chek Aviva Plus test strips to monitor blood glucose levels in diabetes patients.

The new self-monitoring strips are designed to prevent the interference of maltose on blood sugar readings which occurs rarely when a patient takes medication metabolising to maltose.

Daniel O’ Day, Chief Operating Officer at Roche Diagnostics, said: “With its advanced technology and chemistry it is designed to support patients to manage their condition more effectively.”

More than 25 million people live with diabetes in the US, of which seven million are currently undiagnosed.

Roche’s Accu-Chek portfolio manufactures blood glucose readers, insulin delivery systems and lancing devices.

New retinal imager to prevent diabetes blindness

by emma 30. September 2011 11:59

MB product news

A new, hi-tech retinal imaging system that could help millions of diabetes patients from going blind has been launched in Europe.

EasyScan, developed by eye diagnostics specialist, i-Optics, is easy-to-use and more portable than systems currently used in retinal imaging.

The device aims to diagnose and treat diabetes patients quicker to prevent blindness earlier.

As pupil dilation is not required for diagnosis, the device reduces patients’ waiting times by at least 30 minutes. Patients can also drive immediately after examination.

Jereon Cammeraat, CEO at iOptics, said: “With aging populations and growing obesity, countries everywhere face a rapid increase in diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other retinal diseases.”

He said that the current technology featuring fundus cameras are “large, exclusive, and expensive, as well as being slow and difficult to use”.

EasyScan’s non-invasive technology consumes little energy and can connect to a PC or laptop via a USB port. Using Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope (SLO) technology, the device can identify clinical features in the retina in the earliest stages, provide better contrast than traditional fundus cameras, and can better penetrate media opacities such as cataract and corneal opacities.

i-Optics is a worldwide eye imaging developer, aiming to develop affordable, quick retinal diagnosis solutions.

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