According to an inquest heard, a patient was given a lethal overdose of insulin by a tired junior doctor, after working more than 100 hours in a week.//
Dr Helen Pike, 30, gave the injection herself, in spite of 2 nurses warning her. The patient, Tony Wright, 58 suffered a massive cardiac arrest just a few minutes later. 10 days later, he passed away in the hospital’s ICU.
Once his wife heard about the gruelling work schedule of Dr.Pike, she did not hold Dr.Pike responsible for what happened.
During the hearing at Leeds Coroners' Court, Freda Wright, 71, told the hospital doctor: "I would just like to say that we do not attach any blame to you. You did your best."
The tragedy shows how inadequate rest and long work hours affect junior doctors while taking life and death decisions.
Michael Summers of the Patients' Association said: "Junior doctors work very, very long hours. With such a high bed-occupancy in hospitals, doctors are working extremely hard and on occasions longer hours than is acceptable, the problem is mistakes will be made as a result of those pressures.
"The rules are there but they are not necessarily being adhered to."
The tragedy happened in December 2003. Dr Pike was supposed to have been working six 13-hour shifts, but as a result of working extra hours and exchanging shifts with colleagues she worked for more than 100 hours in seven days during that time.
Most of the short naps were in the hospital staff room and usually interrupted by calls for her to return to the wards.
Dr Pike was a senior house officer at Leeds General Infirmary during that time. According to her police statement, she had been worried about the worsening of Mr Wright's condition after an artery bypass operation and she had tried to get him admitted to a high dependency unit.
The amount of potassium in his blood had increased to fatal levels and it were decided to give him insulinPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
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