Nurse who killed patient with wrong medicine loses nursing license

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A woman who gave a fatal dose of the wrong medicine to a patient has lost her nursing license.

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In December 2017, Radonda Vaught, a former nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, gave Charlene Murphey, vecuronium bromide, which can cause paralysis, rather than Versed, a sedative used to treat anxiety, WSMV reported.

Vaught pulled the wrong drug from an electronic medication cabinet, the Tennessean reported. An error happened because Vaught was searching for a drug by its brand name and the machine was set to find drugs by their generic names. She used an override feature when she couldn’t find Versed and chose the wrong medication by mistake.

Murphey, 75, died from the mix-up.

Vaught was fired from the hospital Jan. 3, 2018. A grand jury indicted her in 2019 on charges of impaired adult abuse and reckless homeless, WTVF reported. Her criminal trial starts next year.

Investigators said Vaught ignored at least 10 separate red flags that were raised while searching and administering the medicine.

Vaught’s nursing license was revoked during a Friday hearing by the state Board of Nursing, WTVF reported. She was also fined $3,000.

During the hearing, Vaught admitted to making a mistake but said the error was made because of flawed procedures at the hospital, the Tennessean reported.

“I won’t ever be the same person,” Vaught said through tears at the hearing. “When I started being a nurse, I told myself that I wanted to take care of people the way I would want my grandmother to be taken care of. I would have never wanted something like this to happen to her, or anyone that I loved, or anyone that I don’t even know. I know the reason that this patient is no longer here is because of me.”

The Tennessee Board of Health unanimously voted to revoke Vaught's license, ending her ability to work as a nurse, and fined her $3,000.

Posted by Tennessean on Friday, July 23, 2021
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