Doctor reprimanded over in-flight drug error

A former flying doctor has been reprimanded and fined $2500 for neglecting to tell a psychiatric hospital that an incoming patient had accidentally received an overdose of haloperidol.

Dr Jack Bryn Seys Davies, then a medical officer for the Royal Flying Doctor Service in WA, was accompanying patients on a night flight from Broome to Perth in October 2012 when one, a sedated involuntary psychiatric patient, became agitated.

The WA State Administrative Tribunal was told the flight nurse sought to administer 5mg of haloperidol, but accidentally used the wrong syringe and instead administered 50mg of the antipsychotic.

When she informed Dr Davies of the error, he phoned the flying doctors’ clinical co-ordinator and said the patient would likely not be accepted at Perth’s Graylands psychiatric hospital and would instead require an emergency department.

But he did not mention the drug error