A Filipina nurse whose patient died after she administered him the wrong type of blood has been spared time in prison.
Although patient Ali Huseyin, 76, has a blood type O, nurse Lea Ledesma gave him type AB. Ledesma, 49, who was described as the “mother of the intensive care unit at London Heart Hospital where she worked since 2001, was given an 18-month suspended sentence at Southwark Crown Court after previously being convicted of unlawful manslaughter by gross negligence.
With members of her family, friends and colleagues attending the public gallery announcing the verdict, they formed a circle and prayed for a favorable outcome.
Mr Huseyin had been in the care of Ledesma after a successful heart bypass operation in May 2014. But he was given the wrong blood type in a transfusion on May 7 2014 and died later the same day.
A number of errors on Ledesma’s part saw her choose the wrong blood from a vending style machine, before checking it against the wrong computer records.
Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said: “Mr Huseyin was a much-loved husband, father and grandfather – a kind, considerate family man whose death has devastated his family, particularly his wife, who feels so alone without him after all these years.
“It’s still a mystery to me as to how and why you came to behave in the way that you did, and you remain certain that the details of the other Mr Hussain were shown on the deceased’s monitor and I cannot exclude that as a contributory factor.”
The judge said he had “rarely, if ever” seen so many character references and letters of support for a defendant and continued: “You were committed to that unit, everybody talks about how reliable you were, how committed.
“You were described as the mother of the unit and always prepared to go the extra mile for your patients.”