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Apology over toothpaste error


10 June, 2008  

A hospital has apologised after a woman who was paralysed from the neck down had her teeth brushed with hair removal cream instead of toothpaste by a clinical support worker.

Julia Osborne, 52, from Tonbridge, Kent, was transferred to Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham from an intensive care unit in France after fracturing her spine when she fell on a coach during a school trip.

Ms Osborne, a personal assistant to the head teacher of the Cornwallis Academy in Maidstone, suffered compression fractures to two vertebrae in her spine in the accident last month. She was due to marry fiance Ian Thalmessinger in October, but has been told it could be up to six months before she regains any movement.

The hospital has apologised for the incident and said an internal investigation had been carried out.

“Medway NHS Foundation Trust deeply regrets the incident which took place on Arethusa Ward when a clinical support worker mistook a tube of hair removal cream for toothpaste while cleaning Ms Osborne’s teeth,” the hospital said in a statement.

“As soon as the error occurred, a nurse and doctor were called and Ms Osborne received immediate treatment. There has been no physical ill-effect to Ms Osborne.”

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Medway NHS Foundation Trust