Baby given morphine overdose at King's Mill Hospital

Carl and Michelle Prudence with baby Ellie Michelle and Carl Prudence say the long term effects are still unknown

The parents of a baby who was given an overdose of morphine by hospital staff say it is a "miracle" she is alive.

Carl and Michelle Prudence from Newark, Nottinghamshire, say their daughter Ellie was mistakenly given 100 times more than the recommended dose.

Ellie, three weeks old at the time, had been admitted to King's Mill Hospital in December with irregular breathing and given the morphine to sedate her.

The hospital's trust apologised for the error and said changes had been made.

Mrs Prudence said Ellie, now three months old, should have been given 0.27mg but was instead given 27mg.


It's known in the health service as a "Never Event" - something that, as the name suggests, should never happen.

Morphine was given to help Ellie with her breathing when she was taken to hospital. But proper checks were not done by two nurses and two doctors and she was given a massive overdose.

Ellie spent days in intensive care and she will be monitored for years. Her mum and dad can't believe she survived.

The family say they are now considering suing the NHS over the blunder.

The hospital has apologised and said that lessons have been learnt from this.

She said the amount had not been checked properly by two nurses and two doctors caring for Ellie.

'Thought I would lose her'

"I knew it was too much and I challenged the doctor but I'm not a doctor, I really trusted them," Mrs Prudence added.

"As she had the morphine she stopped breathing. Nobody expected her to survive. I thought I was going to lose her.

"These procedures are there to be followed. If they had been followed my daughter would not have been overdosed."

Ellie spent several days recovering in intensive care at Sheffield Children's Hospital.

Her parents said the long-term implications to her health because of this mistake were still unknown.

"I couldn't understand how anything like this could happen," said Mr Prudence.

"We nearly lost her. It's an absolute miracle she's still here."

King's Mill Hospital said since the error it had changed procedures and drug labelling. The pharmacy has also reduced the range of strengths available.

Dr Andy Haynes, from the Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust, said: "The incident was notified to the family and external agencies immediately and we initiated an internal investigation in line with trust policies. Immediate steps were taken to ensure patients were safe."

He said there had been a full investigation with recommendations for the hospital which would be released next week.

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