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Wednesday, 17 April, 2002, 14:07 GMT 15:07 UK
'Substantial' payout after drug blunder
Wayne Jowett
Wayne Jowett was an 18-year-old apprentice mechanic
The family of a teenager who died after an anti-cancer drug was wrongly injected into his spine have accepted a "substantial" compensation payment.

The Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham settled the claim with the Nottinghamshire family of leukaemia sufferer Wayne Jowett.

The 18-year-old apprentice mechanic died when a junior doctor injected the drug Vincristine into his spine, instead of a vein.

The teenager, from Keyworth, was in remission on the final stages of his treatment when the blunder occurred.

Neither doctor checked Wayne's drugs charts, neither appears to have read correctly the descriptions on the labels

Paul Balen, solicitor

Dr David Morton, a junior doctor with only five weeks' experience on the ward, asked Dr Feda Mulhem, a registrar of three days' experience, to supervise him in giving the drug.

As a result of errors at the QMC, the drugs to be administered into the 18-year-old's spine and those for his vein arrived at the ward together.

The Jowett family solicitor Paul Balen, said: "Neither doctor checked Wayne's drugs charts, neither appears to have read correctly the descriptions on the labels of the syringes and the warnings.

"As a result, Wayne received into his spine an injection of Vincristine, which should have been given into his vein the following day."

The teenager died about a month later, suffering a slow and creeping paralysis of his body.

Professional reprimand

The hospital admitted liability for the error and has reached a confidential settlement with the family.

It followed the presentation of a claim for trespass and negligence and for breaches of the Human Rights Act.

Mr Balen said the family had decided to settle in view of the size of the hospital's offer.

The two doctors were both suspended from duty following the blunder and Dr Morton was reprimanded by the General Medical Council (GMC).

A spokesman for the QMC said: "We are happy that the claim for damages has been resolved to the satisfaction of Wayne's family."

Click here to go to Nottingham
See also:

29 Jan 02 | Health
Blunder parents demand action
19 Apr 01 | Health
Drug blunder death 'accidental'
19 Apr 01 | Health
'Wayne was in a lot of pain'
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