Nurse Who Administered Wrong Medication Causing Death Loses License and is Criminally Indicted
A Vanderbilt nurse was criminally indicted and stripped of her nursing license by the Tennessee Board of Nursing for negligently administering a fatal dose of the wrong medication to a patient in 2017. The nurse overrode several safeguards on the medication vending machine to get the medication and did not check the medication before it was administered. She obtained Vecuronium, a powerful paralytic, instead of Versed that was ordered for the patient. The hospital machine only allows nurses to search by generic names of medications, which may have caused the confusion and allowed her to override certain steps and warnings. In addition to losing her license, the nurse is currently pending criminal charges.
In my view, the hospital is also at fault for allowing nurses to override the safeguards built into the medication dispensing vending machine to get medication faster. This was allowed because the hospital was having a problem with their system at the time preventing timely communication between their electronic systems causing delays in obtaining medications. Regardless, in nursing practice, your first step is to verify the medication and the nurse admitted to not checking the medication before it was administered causing the patient’s death.