It's a joke that's bantered around many U.S. workplaces: The need to have coffee delivered via IV -- or directly into one's veins -- to get the day started. But should anyone be stupid enough to try injecting coffee, they'd likely learn as did Rejane Moreira Telles that the results can be tragic and deadly.
Telles (shown above), a student nurse at a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, was on the job for just three days when she says she mistakenly injected an elderly patient with coffee lightened with milk, according to a Brazilian TV program (via Medical Daily).
As the 23-year-old explained to TV Globo's Fantastico, "Anyone can get confused."
Telles said that the drips for feeding and blood were next to each other. "I injected the coffee, and I put it in the wrong place."
The 80-year-old female patient, Palmerina Pires Ribeiro, died hours later.
Doctors interviewed for the segment said that the milky coffee would have gone directly to the patient's heart and lungs.
"It would have been as if the patient was suffocating," said Dr. Armando Carreir, a nutritional specialist at the Federal University of Fluminens' Hospital Antonio Pedro.
Telles, who said she hadn't been trained on the procedure, now faces charges of involuntary manslaughter as does another student and two other nurses.
Ribeiro's daughter told the TV program that she witnessed Telles give her mother the injection.
"I saw my mother was agitated," Loreni Ribeiro said. "She opened her mouth, and this youngster put coffee with milk into the veins of my mother -- half a glass."
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