Nurse struck off after ‘potentially-deadly’ overdose missed at Northampton General Hospital

Northampton General Hospital
Northampton General Hospital

A nurse has been struck off after she failed to properly check a potentially-fatal overdose of five times the prescribed amount of pain killer that was given to a Northampton General Hospital patient.

Simin Shomalzadeh was employed by the Mayday Healthcare agency and was working on NGH’s Rowan ward on New Year’s Day 2011, when, the Nursing and Midwifery Council panel heard, an unnamed, NGH nurse selected 250mg of oxycodone to be given to a male patient through a drip, which always needs a second nurse to check the dosage.

However, he had been prescribed only 50mg and Shomalzadeh failed to check the dosage properly.

The NMC’s judgement said: “In terms of aggravating factors, the panel noted the potentially fatal consequences the error could have had on patient A.”

Shomalzadeh, of Buckinghamshire, who failed to attend the hearing, was subsequently also charged with not signing out the correct amount of oxycodone in the drug book.

Charge 2 related to failing three subsequent medication administration assessments provided by Mayday Healthcare.

A separate part of the second charge was related to not telling her next employer, Milton Keynes General Hospital, she was also working for Mayday Agency, or about the New Year’s Day incident.

She has been suspended for 18 months in case she appeals. If she does not, then the striking-off will stand.

A spokesman for NGH said that the New Year’s Day incident “fortunately resulted in no harm being caused to the patient” but said it made Mayday Healthcare aware, who then referred the case to the NMC.

He added: “Our permanent member of staff was stopped from administering controlled medications without being supervised by a senior member of staff, and completed a comprehensive retraining programme.”