Story By: Juan Fenandez Mayes, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
A premature baby has died and another left suffering permanent side effects after they were accidentally injected with an anaesthetic instead of a vitamin and nutrient supplement at a hospital.
The tragic accident occurred at the Neonatal Unit of the Donostia University Hospital in the Spanish city of San Sebastian located in the autonomous community of Basque Country in January of this year, but only revealed now.
The premature babies were supposed to have been treated intravenously with a solution called Smoflipid which would have provided them with essential calories and nutritients.
However, according to the local paper, ‘El Correo’, they were instead given a common anaesthetic called Propofol for “at least 48 hours” starting on 2nd January.
The hospital stopped administering the drug to the babies as soon as they found their “pharmaceutical error” and informed the parents.
One of the victims named Ane, who weighed 600 grams (1.32 lbs) at birth, died three days later.
Blood work was done shortly after her passing which revealed she still had a high amount of Propofol in her system.
The second victim who weighed 800 grams (1.76 lbs) at birth and has not been named, survived the incident, but was left with side effects which were not specified as they are still being diagnosed.
Though the circumstances surrounding the mix-up are unclear, it is speculated a likely cause is the fact that the packaging boxes of Smoflipid and Propofol are visually similar, however, there has been no official comment yet on this speculation in local media.
The families are now Demanding compensation along the same amounts that would be requested from the negligent party in traffic accidents. This would mean Ane’s parents could each receive EUR 150,000 (GBP 137,014) for the loss of their child if agreed.
The surviving victim would receive EUR 400,00 (GBP 365,372) to meet their expected additional costs as a result of the child suffering side effects, and the mother would get EUR 60,000 (GBP 54,805) in compensation.
It was unclear whether a settlement had yet been agreed as both sides have not yet officially commented.
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