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NHS nurse suspended after giving patient Lucozade instead of glucose drip

An NHS nurse has been suspended after a catalogue of errors including being unfamiliar with resuscitation equipment and failing to register patients

by The Commentator on 3 January 2013 11:51

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A nurse in the UK's National Health Service has been suspended following a catalogue of errors, it has been reported.

Juleth Deborah McKenzie, a grade five staff nurse at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was found to be incompetent after a series of errors including not being aware of the difference between milligrams and micrograms, giving medication to patients she was not authorised to, prioritising getting personal details of a patient over attempting to stem bleeding and more.

The nurse was given a 12 month suspension order, after senior colleagues described how she “placed patients at risk every time she put them on dialysis”. She was said to have given a patient on dialysis a drink of lucozade instead of a glucose drip.

The case will raise questions as to the competency levels of NHS staff and how standards are ensured in British hospitals.

McKenzie was described as a caring person who was “out of her depth and lacking in ability” and was described as “getting muddled and panicked”.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council panel heard last year how she was required to complete a new starters programme which most nurses complete within three months, but after six months concerns remained about her ability as a registered nurse. She was diagnosed with dyslexia and poor short-term visual memory.

A spokesman for the Foundation Trust, which runs Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital, said yesterday: “The Trust took appropriate action to safeguard patients and Miss McKenzie was managed in accordance with the Trust’s capability procedures and provided with extensive supervision and support.”

McKenzie was also found to fail at:

- Checking a patient’s temperature instead of blood pressure;

- Assessing a patient with Parkinson’s disease as being independent and needing no care or support;

- Attempting to give drugs which had already been given;

- Preparing drugs for oral administration for a patient who was nil by mouth;

- Being unfamiliar with equipment on the resuscitation trolley;

- Making four errors in relation to giving Heparin;

- Giving prescription eye drops, when not authorised, and giving them to the wrong patient;

- Failing to register patients and putting the wrong hospital number on a patient’s wristband. 

It is unclear as to whether the nurse will be able to return to work after her suspension, however in various different roles since 2006, McKenzie has been found unable to perform basic to a basic standard.

Read more on: Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, dialysis, the NHS, and National Health Service
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