Filipina nurse in UK faces jail time for giving wrong blood transfusion

A Filipina nurse who killed a pensioner when she mixed up his name with another patient and gave him the wrong blood transfusion is facing a jail sentence.

Lea Ledesma, 48, gave Ali Huseyin, 76, AB-type blood meant for Irfan Hussain, 37, who was blood group O, at London Heart Hospital in Marylebone.

Doctors ordered the transfusion when the pensioner lost blood from his chest drain at 9.30am after a successful heart bypass the day before.

Ledesma accidentally jotted down Mr Hussain's patient number on her hand instead of Mr Huseyin's, Southwark Crown Court heard.
She then failed to carry out further checks to identify her 'series of mistakes.'

The experienced nurse had spotted that the details did not match but went ahead with the transfusion and triggered a fatal heart attack.

A team of doctors and nurses rushed to help Mr Huseyin but only discovered he had been given the wrong blood after Ledesma gave another nurse Mr Hussain's patient number.

A jury of eight men and four women today found Ledesma guilty of manslaughter by a majority of ten to two after just over seven hours of deliberations.

Ledesma wept and hid her face in her hands in the dock after the verdict was read out.

Jurors heard that nurses were only assigned to one patient on the intensive care ward, which had a system of safeguards in place so patients could be identified properly.

Ledesma jotted Mr Hussain's eight-digit patient number on her hand without taking any other documentation with her before getting the blood. She then failed to notice the error when the dispensing machine printed out a receipt confirming the unit dispatched.

Mr Huseyin had two successful blood transfusions - one from Ledesma and one from a night nurse - following his operation.
Doctor Guangiuseppe Cappabianca, who ordered the transfusion, said he did not make a written prescription to say the patient needed O-type blood because there was already one in place.

He said it is 'very common to have a prescription that is repeatable', adding: 'Given that the nurse was only looking after that patient there was no possibility to mismatch with somebody else.

'She was given only one patient and the procedure to collect the right unit of blood was independent from the prescription.'
He continued: 'Since there was already blood transfusion ongoing at 8am when I arrived I said to give another unit of blood.
'The moment the nurse is saying there's no prescription she should have requested a prescription.'

Ledesma claimed Dr Cappabianca had taken Mr Huseyin's notes from his bed as he went round the ward after ordering another transfusion.

The experienced nurse said she told him the pensioner's blood pressure had dropped 10 minutes before it fell to a critical level - but he says he is sure she didn't.

'The first time I have heard about this problem was from the anaesthetic registrar,' said Dr Cappabianca.
'I wasn't in the ICU (intensive care unit) at the time.'

Earlier Timothy Cray QC, prosecuting, said: 'It was hospital policy, and we would suggest basic common sense, that she was required to undertake further checks at the bedside to make sure that she was giving the right blood to the right patient.

'Before you put the blood into the body you make darn sure that you have got the right blood.'

Ledesma, from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, was found guilty of one count of manslaughter. The nurse will be sentenced on a date to be fixed after the preparation of reports. [via Daily Mail UK]

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  1. Hmm whatever happened to the British midwife who killed a Filipina nurse by giving an epidural infusion as an IV bolus? I heard she was still practicing after the incident and recently retired.