Page last updated at 17:15 GMT, Friday, 18 July 2008 18:15 UK

Nurse gave wrong woman abortion

A nurse who gave a chemical abortion to a patient who had only come for a consultation has been cautioned.

Ann Downer, based at the Calthorpe Clinic in Edgbaston, Birmingham, failed to check the woman's personal details before giving her the drug.

The woman was recalled when Ms Downer realised her mistake but the drug had already taken effect.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council said she could keep her job but would have a caution on her record for three years.

First names

A spokesman said the council's conduct and competence committee heard the clinic's practice was to only call out patient's first names in a bid to protect confidentiality while in the waiting room.

Once the patient was inside a private room, other details, such as full name, birthdate and address were checked to make sure it was the person they were expecting.

Ms Downer failed to carry out an identity check and gave a drug, Misoprostol, to a woman who was due to have an initial consultation.

This would have consisted of a consultation, blood tests and a scan. She would then have been given the drug at the second stage, if she and the doctor agreed to it.

When she was recalled, she was suffering from stomach pains and bleeding and was given a procedure to finish the abortion.

She made an official complaint about the mix-up.


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