25 Mar, 2023 @ 15:00
1 min read

Ten-year-old boy in Spain ends up in intensive care after hospital gives him ketamine overdose

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A 10-YEAR-OLD child ended up in intensive care after a Madrid hospital accidentally administered him a dose of the tranquiliser ketamine that was meant for an adult weighing 130 kilos.

The incident happened on March 4, according to Spanish daily El Pais, after the boy was taken to the Universitario Hospital in the city of Torrejon de Ardoz with a broken arm. 

Twenty minutes after he had been attended to by doctors, he was found in a strange position and was making odd noises. 

Checks revealed that he had a blood saturation level of 40%, when a normal level is between 95 and 100%, and that he was having problems breathing. 

It was then that the medical team realised that he had accidently been given a large dose of ketamine in preparation for surgery. 

The boy was taken to the ICU unit at the Niño Jesús paediatric hospital in central Madrid, where he was treated until March 6.

A hospital report revealed that the nursing staff was to blame for the error, having failed to properly dilute the sedative before it was administered. 

A dose of 250 milligrams was prepared instead of 50 milligrams. Fortunately, the full dose was not given to the patient before the alarms were raised, as procedures dictate that such drugs are administered progressively. 

According to documents seen by El Pais, the family has been offered €4,500 in compensation for the error. 

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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