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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Accidental death due to wrong drug injection: X-nurse on trial

Lawyer for a former Tennessee nurse accidentally injected a paralyzing drug into a patient’s death trial

Nashville, Tenn. — Lawyers for a former Tennessee nurse told jurors Tuesday in a trial for the death of a patient by accidentally injecting a paralyzing drug that the woman is being blamed for systemic problems at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Radonda Watt, 37, is facing a charge of reckless manslaughter for giving the drug vecuronium, 75, to Charlene Murphy, 75, instead of sedative, on December 26, 2017.

Murphy had been hospitalized two days earlier after suffering a headache and loss of vision in one eye. On the 26th, doctors ordered a PET scan to check for cancer, but Murphy was claustrophobic and, according to testimony, sought medication to control his anxiety.

Vott could not find Versed in an automated drug delivery cabinet because it was listed under the generic name midazolam. Instead he used an override mechanism to type “VE”, then hold the vacuromium, according to court records. Voth left the imaging area after injecting the drug, but minutes later another employee noticed that Murphy was unresponsive.

The family took the woman off life support in the early hours of December 27.

Nashville Assistant District Attorney General Debbie Housel said during opening statements Tuesday that the nurse ignored the warning label on the drug and did not see that the drug she had chosen was much different from what was needed.

“Radonda recklessly ignored everything he learned in school” when he used vecuronium, a drug sometimes used to kill prisoners, the prosecutor said.

“Vecuronium is only given when someone is intubated because it paralyzes the body,” Housel said. “A person can’t breathe, can’t move, can’t scream for help.”

In addition to the override, Watt also failed to scan the drug against the patient’s medical identification bracelet, Housel said. She said the drug she chose was a powder that had to be reconstituted rather than a liquid.

Defense attorney Peter Striens told the jury that the hospital was at least partly to blame for Murphy’s death.

In 2017, communication between the pharmacy and the hospital’s automated drug dispensing cabinet was delayed due to problems with a new electronic record system, he said. This often forces nurses to override the system, he said. There was also no scanner for medicine in the imaging area of ​​the hospital where the accident took place.

Vout accepted his mistake as soon as he realized his mistake and the state medical board initially took no action against him. According to Striens, finger-pointing began only after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services learned of the error and conducted a surprise inspection at Vanderbilt.

“It was a high-stakes game of musical chairs and blame-seeking,” Striens said. “When the music stopped, there was no chair for Radonda Watt.”

Murphy’s daughter-in-law, Chandra Murphy, was testifying on Tuesday, crying as she recalled the last days of Charlene Murphy.

The two were preparing Christmas dinner on December 24, 2017, when the older woman started complaining about her vision. Chandra Murphy convinced her to go to the emergency room, where she found a brain bleed. Murphy was transferred to Vanderbilt’s intensive care unit, but was getting better before the accident, Chandra Murphy testified.

She was in the hospital with her mother-in-law when she was taken downstairs for a PET scan and was seen again when she was brought back upstairs, surrounded by doctors who were trying to save her life.

“How in the world do you take someone down for a PET scan and bring them back like this?” He asked. “They basically took him down and brought him back dead.”

World Nation News Desk
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