A mother-of-five with cancer died after a hospital consultant mistakenly prescribed a lethal overdose of chemotherapy, an inquest heard.
Tragic Anna McKenna, 56, was given four times the recommended daily amount of Idarubicin
to treat her bone marrow cancer.
She should have taken 60mg of the drug over four days
, but was told to take 60mg per day
The overdose destroyed almost all of her infection-fighting white blood cells, leaving her immune system powerless against disease.
Mrs McKenna developed renal failure and died at the Bristol Oncology Centre three weeks later on April 18 2006
Her doctor admitted the blunder at an inquest at Flax Bourton Coroner's Court in Bristol, Avon, yesterday.
Dr Jacqueline James, a consultant haematologist at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, told a jury that she was 'very sorry' for what happened.
Mrs McKenna's devastated husband David and other members of the family were in court to hear the apology.
Dr James said: "I saw in my own notes that I had put in the dose of Idarubicin incorrectly.
The records showed that she had been given four times the required dose.
'I had written out the prescription after a long and emotional meeting with Mrs McKenna and her family and filled it out wrong.
'I am very sorry that a mistake was made.'
Mrs McKenna, a housewife from Knowle in Bristol, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, in March 2006
She was prescribed a course of chemotherapy tablets in the hope of prolonging her life.
Without them, doctors gave her just two years to live
. fuck. She would have been better off taking the two years.
'Records show she had a normal
white blood cell count, but following chemotherapy she had vomiting, diarrhoea and pain.
'She had almost no white blood cells
in her blood because of the treatment.
But Dr James' error was not the only factor that led to her death, the jury heard.
Staff in the pharmacy at Frenchay Hospital also failed to spot the oversight of the lethal dosage.
It has since emerged that the prescription, which would identify the pharmacist at fault
, has gone missing. convenient, no?
The five-day inquest continues.