Fatal overdose nurse posted Mansfield baby’s picture on Facebook

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A NURSE who gave a Mansfield baby a fatal overdose of salt and posted a picture of herself asleep next to the child on Facebook faces being struck off from the profession.

Samuel McIntosh, of Arches Road, suffered brain damage after Louisa Swinburn gave him ten times the prescribed dose, a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing was told this week.

Just days before the blunder Mrs Swinburn posted a picture of herself asleep next to the child on her Facebook page.

Mrs Swinburn faces a total of six misconduct charges including administering an overdose, falling asleep on duty and posting a picture on Facebook without the parents’ or hospital’s permission.

If found guilty she faces being struck off from the nursing register.

As previously reported in Chad, Samuel was born prematurely on 1st March 2009, at Nottingham’s City Hospital, weighing 1lb 4oz and was given a 25 per cent chance of survival.

He was transferred to the Queen’s Medical Centre but became unwell again on 4th July. It was discovered his sodium chloride levels were low and he was put on a course of fluid infusion.

Mrs Swinburn then made a ‘catastrophic drug administration error’ by giving him ten times the prescribed dose.

As a result Samuel, who has been named as Baby A for the purpose of the London hearing, lost 340grams of weight, 12.5 per cent of his body weight, and was suffering swelling to his brain.

Hannah Stephenson, for the NMC, said: “Over the next 24 hours Baby A remained significantly unwell.

“Neurologically Baby A had a decreased consciousness level and persistent seizures.

“His sodium level gradually improved, however, there was no improvement in the neurological status.”

Two days later Samuel’s heart stopped and he had to be resuscitated. At this point doctors determined that the damage caused to this brain was ‘non-survivable’

He died at 11am on 7th July, 2009, sparking an investigation.

Mrs Swinburn, who is not attending the hearing, admits administering the fatal salt dose and posting a picture of herself with Samuel on Facebook, but denies falling asleep on duty.

The hearing was told she was caught snoozing during the night of 22nd June by paediatric doctor Vivek Saroha.

Ms Stephenson said: “During the shift he saw Mrs Swinburn sitting on a chair with her eyes closed and her head resting on her hands, near to the side of the cot.

“He took a photograph because he thought it would be amusing. A baby in a cot was just visible in the photograph.

“It was suggested that the photograph be emailed to her as a souvenir of the incident.

“During the following shift he found out from a colleague that the photograph had been posted on Mrs Swinburn’s Facebook page.

“In light of this he sent her an email on 24th June expressing concerns about the photograph being on Facebook and asking her to remove that photograph,” Ms Stephenson added.

The panel was told bosses at the hospital spoke to Mrs Swinburn about the photograph, but at that point no further action was taken.

In November 2009, management discovered the baby in the photograph was Samuel. This instigated a fresh investigation and Mrs Swinburn was dismissed.

At an inquest in 2010, Paul Balen, the solicitor for Samuel’s parents Robert and Sarah McIntosh, urged Coroner Dr Nigel Chapman to consider a verdict of unlawful killing.

Dr Chapman recorded a narrative verdict saying a dreadful mistake was made but ruled it was not a gross failure.

The hearing, which is expected to finish on Thursday, continues.