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Nurse gave sick woman another home resident's medicine.

A well-meaning nurse, who took a patient's medicine and gave it to a sick resident without permission, was given an official caution yesterday.

Carol Marks (57), crossed out the woman's name on a bottle of antibiotics and gave them to an ailing blind patient.

Mrs Marks admitted administering a 5ml dose of Amoxycillin without having a prescription for Patient A, a lady in her 90s.

Mrs Marks, who worked at the Willows Nursing Home in Dangerfield Road, Darlaston, near Walsall, confessed to the error on January 9 last year but claimed Patient A had been struck down by a bout of 'flu.

Katrina Wingfield, for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, told the hearing that when Marks had left her shift, she told the nurse taking over she had given the dose of Amoxycillin because there was a spare bottle in the drugs fridge.

But a nurse who checked the drugs fridge next morning found a bottle of Amoxycillin with the name of the patient crossed out and the name of Patient A handwritten on the label.

When summoned before Lisa Hughes, matron of the 11-patient home, Mrs Marks admitted the lapse, claiming she 'had acted in the patient's best interests.'

The matron criticised Mrs Marks for excusing her impromptu action on the basis that the GP's surgery was closed. She told the hearing that when such crises occur staff are instructed to use an out-of-hours service.

Giving evidence, Mrs Marks said: 'I felt so sorry for the lady - she was coughing and I knew the doctor would actually prescribe Amoxycillin.

'She was very deaf and she was confused. I should not have done it.

'It was definitely the wrong thing to do and I will never ever do that again.'

Mrs Marks was found guilty of misconduct and given a caution.

Committee chair Eileen Walker told her: 'You have been found guilty of misconduct for administering an antibiotic which had been prescribed to another resident and failing to make an adequate record of that administration. Nurses are only allowed supply a limited amount of drugs under appropriate conditions and with training. We accept that you may have meant well but nurses may never exceed their authority.

'These drugs are very dangerous and if used unnecessarily there is a severe risk of immunity and infection developing.'
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 15, 2002
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