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Samoan nurse still employed despite injection mishap

Samoa Ministry of Health logo
Source: RNZ Pacific

Apia, SAMOA — A Samoan nurse who injected a pregnant mother with the wrong medicine, which allegedly caused her death along with her unborn child, is still employed by the Ministry of Health.

TV1Samoa reports the revelation was made at a coronial inquest into the 2019 deaths of 23 year-old Victoria Samuelu and her baby.

According to the report, Coroner and District Court Judge Alalatoa Rosella Papalii was ''surprised and shocked'' that the nurse, Mele Leilua, was still employed at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital.

Leilua, who was on duty the night Victoria Samuelu died, admitted at the inquest that she had injected the wrong medicine into the deceased's intravenous drip.

She said it was the antibiotic ampicillin, which was prescribed for another patient named Titanic, however she mistook the name.

The nurse admitted the injection was not ordered by a doctor and she took it upon herself to administer the medicine, adding she did not ask if the patient was allergic to ampicillin.

The inquest was told that Leilua had failed to note the administered medicine on the patient's medical record.

Judge Alalatoa told the inquest that it seemed the witness was trying to cover up the mistake she had made.

Five witnesses, including doctors and nurses, gave evidence at the inquest, which has now been adjourned until 8 February.