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February 16, 2019
The Weitz Firm, LLC

We wanted to bring you an update to a story we brought you a few months ago about a major medical mistake at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The incident happened in December of 2017 when a nurse intended to give a patient, Charlene Murphey, a routine sedative. Instead, the nurse gave the patient vecuronium, a very powerful drug that is used to keep patients still during surgery. This is also one of the drugs used during the lethal injection process for death penalty cases throughout the country. The nurse, Radonda Vaught, has now been charged with reckless homicide and impaired adult abuse.

At the Weitz Firm, we know that medication mistakes are much more common than people realize and that they injure and kill thousands of people in this country each year. If you need a medication error attorney in Philadelphia, contact us today.

The Tragedy

When the patient received the medication, they were undergoing a routine full body scan which is done in a tube-like machine. They were prescribed Versed, an anti-anxiety medication that can be used for claustrophobia during a procedure like this. The nurse could not find Versed when she went to the electronic prescribing cabinet, so she unlocked the cabinet with more powerful medicines and grabbed the first medication that started with “VE.”

She grabbed the vecuronium instead of Versed.

The patient was given the medicine and put into the scanner and left there until it was realized she was not breathing and CPR initiated. This was when the error was discovered. The medication caused the patient to lose consciousness and go into CPR. She was revived but was partially brain dead. She passed away one day after being taken off of life support.

They Happen

Medication errors happen at alarming rates. In the case above, the nurse appears not to have followed proper protocol when dispensing the medication. Not only did she not type in the full name of the medication when searching of the correct one, but she clearly failed to double check to see if she was giving the correct one to the patient.

Unfortunately, many hospital medication errors happen at the nursing level because there is usually nobody there to check and ensure they are doing the right thing. Nurses are the last line of defense for patients and possible medication errors.

What You Can Do

If you or a loved one have suffered from a medication mistake a the hospital, through your primary care physician, or due to a pharmacy mistake, please seek legal assistance. At the Weitz Firm, we know that these mistakes can be detrimental to the victims and leave them with lifelong disabilities. We want to help you recover the compensation you deserve, from coverage of medical expenses and pain and suffering damages to punitive damages. When you need a Philadelphia medication error attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 267-587-6240.

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