26 Feb 2015

Family sent bill after child's overdose

5:16 pm on 26 February 2015

A family was sent a bill by a private hospital for having their son's stomach pumped after the child was given an overdose of painkiller.

Two years ago, the then three-year-old was prescribed 8.5 miligrams of codeine but was given 85 milligrams, because the prescription wasn't clear.

The boy's father, Graeme Dagg, said the private hospital also sent him the bill for pumping his son's stomach after the overdose.

Mr Dagg told Morning Report his wife questioned the dosage before it was administered, because it was given in such a large syringe.

He said the nurses should have realised then it was a mistake.

Mr Dagg said the recommendation by the Health and Disability Commmissioner that the nurses have their competence reviewed was unacceptable.


The Nursing Council said it had begun an inquiry into the competence of one of the nurses.

A spokesperson said if the other nurse, who did not hold an annual practising certificate, reapplied then they would carry out an enquiry into the nurse's competence also.

The hospital released a statement today, saying the invoice for the child's treatment was discussed with the family for the purpose of ACC, but was never paid nor was it ever expected to be.