James Paget Hospital chiefs launch investigation after ‘never event’ involving a patient and aspirin

James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk.

James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Hospital managers are investigating after a patient was the subject of a medical blunder.

The patient, who was being treated at James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, was 'inadvertently' given 75mg of aspirin in an incorrect way - putting them at potential risk of serious harm.

So serious was the case that it was categorised as a 'never event' - a term used to describe incidents that are completely preventable.

But the hospital said no harm had befallen the patient, who cannot be identified, and added 'refresher training' had been provided in the aftermath - among steps taken to avoid a similar occurrence in the future.

It is the first time since July 2013 that a never event has occurred within the hospital trust.

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According to hospital documents, the aspirin was not administered orally to the patient - and was instead given through a 'Hickman Line' - a central venous catheter.

This was a breach of the correct treatment.

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The hospital said it could not reveal which ward or department the incident happened on, because of patient confidentiality.

A full investigation is underway and 'a number of immediate actions' have been taken to prevent it happening again.

Anna Hills, director of governance at the hospital, said: 'There is no evidence that the patient suffered any harm as a result of this incident – and the patient's relatives were informed immediately.

'As part of our response, we informed all staff in the department about the incident and the steps required to prevent any further occurrence.

'We provided refresher training and ensured that relevant information was displayed in staff areas in the department.

'We recognised that a similar event could occur outside the hospital so informed colleagues in community healthcare and the ambulance service about this incident.

'Any further recommendations resulting from the root cause analysis into this incident will also be implemented.'

Have you got a health story we should cover?

Contact our health correspondent by emailing nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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