Patients rely on physicians, nurses, and pharmacies to appropriately prescribe, administer, and dispense medications. Tennessee medication errors at any point in this process can have deadly consequences to consumers. Many healthcare providers are taught to double-check medications to ensure that they have the right patient, dose, time, route, and medication before providing it to the consumer. However, despite this training, over a million people suffer medication errors every year.
For example, a nurse’s medical error at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) took the life of a 75-year-old patient. The patient checked into the hospital to receive treatment for bleeding in her brain. Two days after her admission, the patient’s condition began to improve, and the staff was preparing for her release after a final scan. The nurse at issue was supposed to administer a sedative before the scan; however, she accidentally administered a paralyzing medication. The drug left the woman brain dead, and she was taken off life support a few days later.
The nurse explained that while she is responsible for the mistake, the hospital’s procedure made the event more likely to occur. She explained that the hospital permitted nurses to override the medication cabinet safety prompts. As such, since it was a regular practice, the nurse overrode the safety prompts that appeared on screen when she was gathering the medication. The mix-up occurred because the woman searched for the medication’s brand name, but the cabinet was set to search for generic names. Authorities reported that the bottle contained a warning label that indicated that the medication was a “PARALYZING AGENT.” The nurse
admitted that if the bottle contained a warning label, she overlooked it.
The nurse’s attorney also purported that the hospital’s system was not working correctly on the day of the incident. He claims that VUMC is using the nurse as a scapegoat to hide their systemic issues. A state health investigator explained that she has a vague recollection of a medication cabinet error but does not know if the override function was a solution to the problem. The state nursing board recently revoked the woman’s nursing license because of a fatal medication error.
This tragic incident highlights the various ways a patient may receive inadequate or dangerous treatment at a healthcare facility. As such, it is essential that medication error victims contact an attorney to discuss their rights.
Have You Experienced Medical Negligence in Tennessee?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries or died because of a medical error in Tennessee, you should contact the Hartsoe Law Firm. The Hartsoe Law Firm provides high-quality and effective legal representation to Tennessee injury victims and their families. The firm handles Tennessee motor vehicle claims, premises liability, slip-and-falls, dog bites, product liability medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and negligence, and wrongful death. Attorney Mark C. Hartsoe has years of experience successfully representing clients in their claims for damages. He has been repeatedly selected as a Super Lawyer by Law and Politics Magazine. Contact the Hartsoe Law Firm at 865-524-5657 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your injury case.