Sydney hospital and BOC face charges after babies given nitrous oxide instead of oxygen

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Updated

December 19, 2018 20:04:46

Criminal charges have been laid over a gassing incident at a Sydney hospital that left one baby dead and another with serious brain damage.

Key points:

  • The 2016 incident occurred at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital
  • The charges were laid in July, and the matter is now before the courts
  • Nitrous oxide is used on adults for pain relief but is poisonous to newborns

SafeWork NSW confirmed it had commenced legal proceedings against Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital over the 2016 incident, where nitrous oxide was confused for oxygen.

Newborn John Ghanem died, while Amelia Khan was left with life-long brain injuries.

Gas company BOC, which installed the gas outlet involved at the western Sydney hospital, is also facing charges.

In a statement, a BOC spokesperson said it had cooperated fully with all investigations, but as the matter was before the courts it could not comment.

An independent contractor at the hospital installed the gas lines.

In a statement, South Western Sydney Local Health District, the authority behind Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital, confirmed SafeWork NSW had commenced legal proceedings.

“The Local Health District is cooperating with SafeWork NSW on this matter,” a spokesperson said.

SafeWork NSW said as the matter was before the courts it was not appropriate to comment.

Nitrous oxide is used on adults for pain relief but is poisonous to very young children and babies.

A 2016 report into the incident outlined a number of recommendations, including a performance watch for the health district.

Topics:

infant-health,

healthcare-facilities,

courts-and-trials,

law-crime-and-justice,

nsw,

bankstown-2200,

sydney-2000

First posted

December 19, 2018 19:48:27



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