Tennessee Nurse Faces Criminal Charges For Medication Mix Up

Medication Mix Up

3/11/2019 Medical Malpractice John Whitfield

Nurses are absolutely crucial for our healthcare industry. As the healthcare professional the patients interact with the most, they are the first line of care for most of us. While most nurses provide outstanding care, the reality is that sometimes they do make mistakes and these mistakes can be devastating for patients. One Tennessee nurse is facing criminal charges for a medication mix up that resulted in a patient’s death.

A patient went to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to undergo a PET scan. The patient requested medication to help her deal with her claustrophobia while inside the imaging machine. The nurse went to the Automatic Dispensing Cabinet to retrieve a sedative called Versed that was prescribed by a physician. However, the drug did not populate in the Automatic Dispensing Cabinet, so the nurse overrode safety protocols and conducted a manual search. The nurse typed in the first two letters, and selected the first drug that showed up in the search. Unfortunately the drug she selected was Vecuronium, which is known as the execution drug because it causes paralysis and eventually death. At the time of selection, the nurse was distracted by talking to another person and she did not double check her selection. After an investigation into the incident, the District Attorney’s office charged the nurse with reckless homicide and patient abuse.

When Medication Mistakes Turn Deadly

While most medication mix-ups do not cause serious injuries, some of them do. Anytime a medical professional is handling medication, they need to be exercising caution and following all safety protocols to ensure no one gets hurt. Most doctors and nurses who make mistakes will not be charged criminally, but this doesn’t mean they didn’t do anything wrong. Victims of medication mix-ups and their family members can file civil lawsuits against healthcare providers and facilities that reckless endanger the lives of patients. While no amount of money can undo the damage caused by negligence, obtaining compensation from a medical malpractice lawsuit can help pay for related medical costs and other expenses.

Nashville Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If you or someone you love suffered a medication mix-up in a Nashville hospital, contact Whitfield Bryson LLP today. We offer free consultations so patients can learn their rights and legal options regardless of whether or not they pursue a lawsuit. Contact us today to schedule a free and confidential appointment with one of our attorneys.