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Saturday, 27 April, 2002, 17:34 GMT 18:34 UK
Doctors arrested over fatal blunder
Wayne Jowett
Wayne Jowett's family accepted "substantial" damages
Two doctors have been arrested in connection with the death of a teenage cancer sufferer who died when a drug was wrongly injected into his spine.

Wayne Jowett, 18, from Keyworth, in Nottinghamshire, died at the Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) in February 2001, a month after the mistake.

Police confirmed on Saturday that they had arrested Dr Feda Mulhem and Dr David Morton.

Officers are putting together a file which will be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service, the body responsible for deciding whether criminal charges will follow.

Compensation

According to an internal investigation by the QMC, Dr Morton asked registrar Dr Mulhem to supervise him in administering Wayne's drugs.

The inquiry also pointed out that the mistake occurred when the drugs to be administered into the 18-year-old's spine, and those for his vein, arrived at the ward together.

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

An inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death on Wayne, an apprentice mechanic.

The QMC admitted liability for the error and Wayne's family recently accepted what was described as a "substantial" compensation payout.

Lessons

The offer was made to the Jowett family after the QMC was presented with a claim for trespass and negligence and for breaches of the Human Rights Act.

Wayne's father, also called Wayne, and his mother Stella Brackenbury, met England's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson in January to discuss their son's case and whether any lessons could be learned.

Since 1975 the same mistake has happened 13 times in the UK, although not all cases have been fatal.

Experts say that the design of syringes and bottles should be altered so it is physically impossible to attach a spinal needle to the wrong drug.


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