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Last Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008, 18:54 GMT
Boss defends midwife at inquest
Mayra Cabrera
Mrs Cabrera's son survived
The midwife on duty when a pregnant woman was given a epidural in her arm instead of her back was defended by her manager as "experienced and competent".

Ward manager Sister Jan Smith told the inquest into the death of Mayra Cabrera, 30, she had "no concerns" about the ability of midwife Marie To.

Nurse Mrs Cabrera, who came to Swindon from the Philippines in 2002, died of Bupivacaine toxicity in May 2004.

The inquest will resume on Monday, when Ms To will give evidence.

'Experienced and competent'

The inquest has heard a claim that Ms To, a midwife at Great Western Hospital in Swindon, had mistakenly put the Bupivacaine drip into the arm of Mrs Cabrera, who died two hours after giving birth.

Mrs Cabrera, a nurse at the same hospital, suffered a heart attack after being given the anaesthetic while giving birth to her 8lb son Zachary in 2004.

Ward manager Sister Jan Smith told the inquest jury in Trowbridge she had "no concerns" about the ability of Ms To.

Sister Smith said: "She was an experienced and competent midwife who worked within the delivery suite and has a lot of experience.

"I had no concerns for her. Her practice had never come to my attention."

She added: "There was no proof that Marie To did it, so I couldn't discipline her."

She said she did not carry out her own investigation, because there was an ongoing inquiry at a more senior level.

Mrs Smith also confirmed Ms To had been given bereavement counselling after the incident.

The hearing continues.

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