Nursing News

Filipina nurse spared jail over fatal blood transfusion mix-up

A nurse who killed a patient by giving him the wrong blood type has been spared jail.

Lea Ledesma made a series of mistakes which led to the death of Ali Huseyin, 76, at London Heart Hospital on May 7, 2014.

The grandfather was recovering from a successful heart bypass when she gave him type AB blood instead of group O. He died the same day.

Ledesma, 49, tried to pin her fatal mistake on a colleague in the intensive care unit.

There were jubilant scenes from the former nurse and her supporters at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday as she was spared jail.

The public gallery was packed with dozens of her family, friends and former hospital colleagues, many of whom had written letters of support for her.

Ledesma, of Stevenage in Hertfordshire, wept and hugged relatives after being given an 18-month suspended sentence and a community work order.

They formed a prayer circle in the courtroom and could be heard praising God and thanking Jesus.

The court usher eventually asked them to leave after they continued chanting and celebrating for several minutes.

The group then posed for pictures inside the building before being stopped by court staff.

Ledesma denied unlawful manslaughter by gross negligence but was convicted by a jury after a trial last year.

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”.

A number of errors led to Ledesma choosing the wrong blood from a vending-style machine, before incorrectly checking it against the computer records.

She initially tried to pass off the error as being a colleague’s mistake and only when questioned further did she admit to being distracted and flustered when checking the patient’s details.

“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 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.” [Source:]

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