Nurse prosecuted over fatal jab [UK]

  1. A nurse is being prosecuted for allegedly failing to supervise a student who accidentally killed a 91-year-old patient. Edna Alker died after she was given an injection of potassium chloride at Whiston Hospital in Merseyside.
    It was given by a student nurse who was training at the hospital in 2003.
    The student faces no charges, but Karen Edwardson, 36, who was allegedly supervising her, is being prosecuted under Health and Safety rules.


    More: Nurse prosecuted over fatal jab
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    About Brian, ADN

    Joined: Mar '98; Posts: 15,418; Likes: 16,398
    allnurses.com founder; from US
    Specialty: 18+ year(s) of experience in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele

    28 Comments

  3. by   sheronep
    Now that is scary!

    I had a clinical instructor who was not diligent in watching what we did. I always wondered what would happen if we made a mistake.
  4. by   doris66
    I would not like to be the instructor
  5. by   FLnurse63
    In the facility where I work in FL, typically the instructors are NOT coming to the bedside to oversee the students performing procedures. What is then the purpose of the instructor being in the facility on clinical days? Anyone else out there experience this?
  6. by   LilPeanut
    I can't believe though that anyone would let a student inject K without supervision!!!! That's so dangerous!

    There are many things my instructor or preceptor may not watch me give anymore, but our school has a very strict rule that any iv push meds must be physically overseen by the preceptor and certain drugs, like K and other life-threatening drugs are not allowed to be pushed by a student.
  7. by   letina
    Quote from brian
    A nurse is being prosecuted for allegedly failing to supervise a student who accidentally killed a 91-year-old patient. Edna Alker died after she was given an injection of potassium chloride at Whiston Hospital in Merseyside.
    I worked at this hospital for many years before I came to the US, in fact I was there when this happened. The patient was the mother of an Anaesthetist (aka Anesthesiologist)
  8. by   letina
    Quote from FLnurse63
    What is then the purpose of the instructor being in the facility on clinical days? Anyone else out there experience this?
    The instructor was a nurse working on the unit, she was mentoring/precepting the student who was on a clinical placement
  9. by   gentle
    Letina,

    That was absolutely horrible. How are all the affected parties doing now?
  10. by   luvkitties
    Quote from LilPeanut
    but our school has a very strict rule that any iv push meds must be physically overseen by the preceptor and certain drugs, like K and other life-threatening drugs are not allowed to be pushed by a student.
    My school taught us that KCl is to NEVER EVER be given IVP...regardless of how many times they drilled it into our heads, we had someone in our class **almost** give KCl IVP...the instructor was there, watched her set it up, gave her every opportunity to catch her mistake...student was allowed to participate in graduation, but will have to take that clinical over again next year.
  11. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Our instructors watched us like hawks when we pulled and drew up meds. Then they watched us if the med was a risky one (like KCl!).

    I would think the student at least did not pass nursing school.

    Someone has to be watching--pity the poor patients where students are not supervised, and clearly there are such hospitals.
  12. by   oramar
    I think criminal prosecution is tooooo sever. I can understand being held as negligent. I say that because the article is not to specific about what sort of prosecution. A US article would be more specific. This was never any intention to harm. There could be a lot of other circumstances that we don't know about. If I read stories like this 40 years ago I would have never set foot in nursing school.
    Last edit by oramar on Aug 21, '06
  13. by   TinyNurse
    wait, is it the instructor or the RN that she was working with that is being prosecuted?
    wow, in school I was taught to never give K+ IV push. It was reinterated to me like a thousand times.
    Jen
  14. by   nurse_clown
    [font="comic sans ms"][color="slategray"]at our hospital, the potassium comes premixed. only the rn's can hang and spike the bags. pharmacy has taken over the responsibility. i think a similar situation happened in canada. our normal saline 10mls looked the same a potassium 10mls and even came in disposable amps that were labeled the same color.

    being a preceptor is a huge responsibility. i'm not experienced enough to take on that responsibility. but i've been stuck in that position if there was a sick call and they just place a student with me. i don't like it. i don't even like orientating a new staff.

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