Solialofi Papali’i, Samoan Nurses Association president, told Nursing Review that the nurse, a senior member of the association, had now been released from custody and was at home awaiting a court appearance later this month.

The nurse is understood to have been charged with negligence causing death and perverting the cause of justice relating to the deaths of the two babies following measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunisations last month.

Papali’i said the nurse had 37 years’ service as a nurse and members had been very sorry and upset at her arrest and had wanted to support her. The association had sought legal advice leading to her release.

“At the same time it is a challenge for everyone to be careful and do their best to work using the guidelines as well as meeting the nursing standards and the competencies, said Papali’i. She said the association wanted to ensure that nursing practice was safe for everyone “because we don’t want to cause any risk to people – we want to save their lives”.

Papali’I said the Association were confused by the nurses’ arrest and police charging her when the Commission of Inquiry was yet to be completed.

The Samoa Observer reported today that Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil had confirmed that the woman faces two charges, one of alleged negligence resulting in death and of perverting the course of justice.

The New Zealand Herald reported on Monday that authorities continue investigations into the deaths of Lannacallystah Samuelu and Lameko Si’u, who died shortly after receiving a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination at Safotu District Hospital, on the island of Savaii, on July 6. The World Health Organisation was brought into help with the inquiry into the deaths that also led to the recall of all MMR vaccine on the island.

University of Auckland vaccinologist Dr Helen Petousis-Harris said shortly after the tragic deaths that such events were rare and the two main reasons they occurred were medical error — where the vaccine was prepared incorrectly and the wrong substance was injected — or contamination of the vaccine due to leaving it at room temperature for a long period of time.

Source: Nursing Review

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