Nurse who gave wrong blood type suspended

Alf Moselakgomo

Alf Moselakgomo

A Mpumalanga nurse, who allegedly gave a patient the wrong blood type during blood transfusion, has been suspended.

Mpho Gabashane, provincial health department spokesman, yesterday said the suspension was to allow the labour relations unit to investigate and formulate charges against the nurse.

"The outcome of the probe would determine what action should be taken against the nurse who had performed the transfusion," said Gabashane.

Last month Neil Donaldson, 50, of Nelspruit, was admitted to the Nelspruit's Rob Ferreira Hospital for a fractured leg and severe blood loss.

During the transfusion, he reacted negatively to the blood he was given, resulting in him being admitted to the intensive care unit. This prompted the department to immediately institute an internal inquiry. The nurse continued to work despite the mistake.

But last week the department said the nurse, whose name had been withheld until she appeared for a disciplinary hearing next week, had been suspended.

The department said it was baffled by the mistake and promised to leave no stone unturned in their investigations.

"The government is gambling with the lives of people by not appointing enough competent staff," said DA spokesman, Anthony Bernadie.

He said it now remained to be seen how the inquiry would be handled and what steps would be taken if negligence was uncovered.

"We believe that, if found guilty, the punishment should be nothing short of dismissal," Bernadie said.