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Nurse who told swine flu patient to take cough syrup struck off
A 20-YEAR old man died from swine flu and pneumonia on Boxing day after a senior nurse told him to go to the chemist instead of A&E.
Fadzai Jaravaza, 59, from Bridge Road, Wickford, will be struck off the nursing register after being found guilty of a string of professional misconduct charges by a Nursing and Midwifery Council fitness to practice panel.
Ms Jaravaza was a senior nurse advisor for NHS Direct Essex which takes telephone calls from the public and operators offer advice based on the symptoms described through a computer system.
The panel heard on Christmas Day 2010 she ignored advice from the system that he should go straight to A&E and instead told him to get cough syrup from the chemist and treat himself.
She took two phone calls from his mother and himself who both explained he suffered diarrhoea and vomiting for six days, including brown liquid, and described a chesty cough and discoloured mucous.
She was already being monitored by managers since March 2010 following a series of unsatisfactory calls.
The panel’s report of the hearing said: “On both occasions, Ms Jaravaza advised that Patient A should seek pharmacy advice and self-medicate.
The panel was informed that Patient A was admitted to hospital the following day, but sadly passed away later that day following a provisional diagnosis of pneumonia secondary to H1N1 influenza (Swine flu).
The report added: “There is evidence of lack of insight and a lack of engagement. Further, the panel considers that there is a real risk of repetition of Ms Jaravaza’s failings which could lead to patient harm.
It is the panel’s finding that a period of suspension would not be sufficient to protect patients. “The panel considers that a striking off order is the only sanction that is sufficient to protect patients and the public interest.
The seriousness of the case, including the number and wide-ranging nature of the incidents, is incompatible with ongoing registration.“
Ms Jaravaza, who worked for NHS Direct since 2001, claimed during the probe the probe the problems were down to changes with the system in 2009.
The then refused to cooperate and was not at the hearing in London. She was 28 days to appeal the decision before the strike off.
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