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Fatal Mistake
The criminalization of a medication error shook the healthcare community and has left many providers fearing for the future of their careers and the well-being of their patients.
Outpatient Surgery Editors
Publish Date: May 4, 2022   |  Tags:   Medical Malpractice-Legal Patient Safety News
RaDonda Vaught
© Nicole Hester – USA TODAY NETWORK

RaDonda Vaught stood in silence next to her attorney, seemingly resigned to her fate as the jury rendered its verdict. Guilty of gross neglect of an impaired adult. Guilty of criminally negligent homicide. The charges stemmed from a fatal medication error Ms. Vaught committed while working as a nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville on Dec. 26, 2017. The patient, 75-year-old Charlene Murphey, was being treated for a brain injury when Ms. Vaught accidentally administered the powerful neuromuscular blocker vecuronium instead of the sedative Versed (midazolam), which Ms. Murphey was prescribed to calm her nerves before entering an MRI machine. She died a day later. VUMC fired Ms. Vaught  on Jan. 3, 2018, reportedly for not following the “five rights” of medication administration.

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