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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 September, 2003, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Family still 'numb' after son's death
Wayne Jowett's mother Stella Brackenbury
Stella Brackenbury wants to ensure other blunders are avoided
The family of a teenager who died after being improperly injected with a fatal dose of chemotherapy drug says they have been left numb by his death.

Wayne Jowett, 18, from Keyworth in Nottinghamshire, died in 2001 after the drug Vincristine was wrongly injected into his spine rather than a vein.

Dr Feda Mulhem, of Stanley Road, Leicester, pleaded guilty to the teenager's manslaughter at Nottingham Crown Court on Monday.

Wayne's mother Stella Brackenbury told BBC News: "We can't make sense of anything - we are numb - it is a pain that is hard to describe."

Lost all faith

"I thought they knew what they were doing - but they didn't."

Dr Mulhem's job was to check the drug being administered, but he failed to ensure that the chemotherapy drug was used properly.

Hilda Duggins
Something really does need to be done to stop this happening to any other family
Hilda Duggins

The mother of an eight-year-old boy from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, who died in similar circumstances in 1975, is alarmed that the same mistake has happened again.

Hilda Duggins, whose son Lee died from an improper chemotherapy injection, said: "I find it very hard to believe that the same mistakes are happening again and again.

"We were told there was nothing we could do once the injection had been given.

"Something really does need to be done to stop this happening to any other family."

It is believed similar accidents have happened at least 13 times before. All the patients are thought to have died.

The Jowett family has campaigned for regulations to ensure that a fail-safe syringe is used so chemotherapy drugs cannot be injected improperly.

The Department of Health says an investigation is under way into the improper injection of chemotherapy drugs.

But the department says it may take years to implement changes as international agreements are needed to put the regulations in place.

'Wayne was in a lot of pain'
19 Apr 01  |  Health

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