Five more Altnagelvin staff to provide evidence on Raychel

THE Inquiry investigating the death of Raychel Ferguson following a routine appendix operation at Altnagelvin in 2001 is scheduled to hear evidence from several more medical staff over the next three days.

Raychel died after a saline drip was administered in the wake of the operation at Altnagelvin almost 12 years ago. Raychel was given a weaker concentration of sodium solution (No. 18) after initially being prescribed a stronger concentration (Hartmann’s).

Yesterday the lead theatre nurse, Marian McGrath, and the nurse who ‘corrected’ an Altnagelvin doctor’s prescription of Hartmann’s solution during Raychel’s treatment, Ms Ann Noble, were scheduled to appear before the Inquiry. Five more staff who were on duty in Altnagelvin at the time are due to give evidence over the next three days.

Today (Wednesday, February 27) Ms Daphne Patterson, the nurse who admitted Raychel to Ward 6; was responsible for recording her admission details; and was Raychel’s ‘named nurse,’ is due to be heard.

Ms Patterson created Raychel’s episodic care plan and carried out observations after her surgery.

Ms Elizabeth Millar, who was responsible for managing Ward 6 from 7.50am on June 8, 2001, until shortly after 6pm, during which time Raychel was a patient on the ward, will also provide evidence today.

Tomorrow (Thursday, February 28) Ms Michaela McAuley (nee Rice) will provide evidence.

She was on duty on the Ward during the day shift until 8pm and was “responsible for providing care to Raychel including recording her vomiting, arranging for prescription of further Solution 18, and arranging for the Surgical Senior House Officer to see her at 6pm.”

Ms McAuley’s evidence session will continue on Friday and will be followed by evidence from Mr Muhammad Zafar who was the Senior House Officer in Surgery at Altnagelvin at the time.

Mr Zafar “attended with Raychel during his ward round on the morning of June 8, 2001. He was the first of five doctors who attended with Raychel on June 8,” according to the Inquiry.

It’s just over a year since Senior Counsel to the inquiry Ms Anyadike-Danes raised the question of why, just 14 months after the hyponatraemia-related death of Lucy Crawford in Fermanagh, was a surgeon’s decision to treat Raychel with a sodium-rich intravenous solution overruled due to it not being “consistent with common practice” in the Altnagelvin children’s ward and a weaker sodium mix administered instead?

The staff were listed to appear as the Sentinel went to press yesterday.