Dead tot’s father to sue over IV tragedy
THE father of a three- year- old girl, who died after being treated with a re- used intravenous fluid bag during a flight to a hospital, is suing the State Government.
A coroner last year said if a new IV bag had been used, at the cost of one dollar, instead of re- spiking a partly- used bag, then “young Ruby would be with us today’’.
The normally healthy central Queensland girl ( pictured) had been sick for about a week before her death on August 9, 2012.
That day she was taken to Blackwater Hospital emergency department with a high temperature, cough and vomiting. She was given intravenous fluids.
Later that day, after she was diagnosed with dehydration and probable pneumonia, it was decided she would be sent to Rockhampton on a helicopter.
During the flight Ruby was given intravenous fluids, but she went into seizure and then cardiac arrest, seven minutes before landing in Rockhampton.
Despite attempts to resuscitate after landing and at Rockhampton Hospital, Ruby died.
Coroner David O’Connell said during the flight a half- used saline IV bag was respiked with a new “giving set’’, despite a new IV bag being available.
Mr O’Connell found Ruby died from a massive air embolism during the flight and that the air that entered her system about 31 minutes into the flight came from the re- used IV saline bag.
Re- spiking allowed air to enter the bag, which was placed inside an opaque pressure bag, forcing the saline fluid and air into the cannula in Ruby’s hand.
Mr O’Connell found it was the lead paramedic on the flight who re- spiked the IV bag. The half- used bag was used, instead of new ones that were available, so stocks on the helicopter did not need to be replaced.
The coroner recommended bags be labelled “single spike only’’.
A District Court claim filed by Maurice Blackburn said Ruby’s father Chuan Chen had suffered a psychiatric injury as a result of her death. On Wednesday the lawyers will seek leave to proceed with a personal injury damages claim against the State.