Criminal charges laid over hospital baby gas bungle
THE company, contractor and health district allegedly responsible for the gassing of two babies at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital in 2016 have been hit with criminal charges by SafeWork NSW.
Baby John Ghanem died and baby Amelia Khan was left with irreversible brain injuries after they were both mistakenly administered nitrous oxide instead of oxygen.
The gas lines in the resuscitation unit at one of the hospital's operating theatres were mixed up, with nitrous oxide - known as laughing gas - coming out of the pipe labelled oxygen.
SafeWork NSW has filed criminal charges against the gas company BOC, South West Local Health District, and the contractor Christopher Turner who installed the gas lines.
All are charged with breaching the Workplace Health and Safety Act. Mr Turner has previously said he "does not admit he installed nitrous oxide rather than oxygen to the oxygen outlet".
"SafeWork NSW has commenced legal proceedings against South Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD).
The LHD is co-operating with SafeWork," a South Western Sydney LHD spokeswoman said last night.
Baby Khan inhaled nitrous oxide for 61 out of the first 66 minutes of her life, causing the Khan family to launch their own legal action against the hospital.
The family welcomed the news of the criminal charges yesterday.
"[We] welcome this next step and hope it will at last give some answers on exactly how and why this occurred," the Khan family's lawyer Libby Brookes said.
An inquest into baby John Ghanem's death will be held next July, three years after the terrible accident happened.