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Former nurse found guilty of homicide in medication error death case

RaDonda Vaught
Posted at 1:09 PM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 19:46:00-04

A former Tennessee nurse has been found guilty of criminally negligent homicide in the accidental death of a patient because of a medication error.

She was also found guilty of gross neglect of an impaired adult. The jury reached its verdict Friday. In 2017 RaDonda Vaught injected the paralyzing drug vecuronium into 75-year-old Charlene Murphey instead of using the sedative Versed.

Vaught freely admitted to making several errors with the medication that day, but her defense attorney sought to show that systemic problems at Vanderbilt University Medical Center were at least partly to blame for the error. The case has fixed the attention of patient safety advocates and nurses' organizations that are concerned it will make providers reluctant to report errors.

An expert witness for the state argued that Vaught violated the standard of care for nurses, the Associated Press reported.