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Midwife denies anaesthetic error

A midwife has denied trying to shift blame on to a doctor after an alleged medical mistake caused the death of a new mother.

Mayra Cabrera, 30, died after an intravenous drip containing the epidural anaesthetic Bupivacaine was apparently put into her arm, rather than her spine.

An inquest in Trowbridge heard the Filipino theatre nurse died from Bupivacaine toxicity after giving birth to her son Zac at Great Western Hospital in Swindon on 11 May 2004.

But Sister Marie To claims she used a drip of Gelafusin, a blood volume expander, or possibly saline, but definitely not the anaesthetic.

She told the hearing she tried to get it double-checked by Dr Gourab Misra, but he was in a hurry and failed to do so.

However, Malcolm Fortune, for the Swindon & Marlborough NHS Trust, put it to Mrs To: "Late in the day, having seen Dr Misra's statement, you have chosen to blame Dr Misra.

"You are seeking to besmirch the reputation of a senior doctor in these circumstances, aren't you?"

"No," Mrs To replied.

She added: "All I know, Sir, is that I did my best to check. As I said, he was too quick for me."

But Mr Fortune disagreed: "This just is not true, is it? This is not a truthful account of what happened. You will not face the reality that you put up Bupivacaine - is that not correct?"

Mrs To said: "I did not put up Bupivacaine, Sir."

The inquest continues.

Great Western Hospital

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"Deciding on blame would clearly depend on the circumstances and the evidence however there may well be incidents when senior staff could be held accountable for the mistake of a junior where instructions were given by senior to junior which itself construed as incorrect" - Name and address supplied