Nurses protest Tennessee sentence for lethal medical mistake

Nurses have traveled from across the nation to protest outdoors the courthouse the place a former Tennessee nurse might be sentenced for inflicting the demise of a affected person

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Nurses traveled from across the nation to protest on Friday outdoors the courthouse the place a former Tennessee nurse confronted as much as eight years in jail for mistakenly inflicting the demise of a affected person.

RaDonda Vaught was discovered responsible in March of criminally negligent murder and gross neglect of an impaired grownup after she by chance administered the improper remedy.

The utmost sentence is unlikely given her lack of prior offenses. A presentencing report rated her threat of reoffending as “low.” Nonetheless, her conviction has develop into a rallying level for a lot of nurses who had been already fed up with poor working circumstances exacerbated by the pandemic.

Some have left bedside nursing for administrative positions whereas others have left the career altogether, saying the chance of going to jail for a mistake has made nursing insupportable.

The sentencing comes a day after Worldwide Nurses Day, and a few nurses drove to Nashville from a march for higher working circumstances in Washington D.C. on Thursday. Amongst dozens of demonstrators outdoors the courthouse, some wore T-shirts that learn “I Am RaDonda” and “Looking for Justice for Nurses and Sufferers in a BROKEN system.”

“Everybody I speak to is livid about it,” mentioned Janie Harvey Garner, a nurse who based the advocacy group Present Me Your Stethoscope and helped increase cash for Vaught’s protection. “She shouldn’t have been capable of apply nursing once more. She ought to have been disciplined by the (nursing) board, however jail?”

Harvey, who was driving to the courthouse from Georgia, mentioned it was “terrifying” to assume she may very well be prosecuted for a mistake. She predicted that nurses will begin making an attempt to cowl up their errors fairly than report them. Vaught reported her error as quickly as she realized what she had completed improper.

Vaught, 38, injected the paralyzing drug vecuronium into 75-year-old Charlene Murphey as an alternative of the sedative Versed on Dec. 26, 2017. Vaught freely admitted to creating a number of errors, however her protection legal professional argued that systemic issues at Vanderbilt College Medical Middle had been a minimum of partly responsible.

On the nurse’s trial, an professional witness for the state argued that Vaught violated the usual of care anticipated of nurses. Along with grabbing the improper medication, she did not learn the title of the drug, didn’t discover a pink warning on the highest of the remedy, and didn’t stick with the affected person to test for an opposed response, nurse authorized marketing consultant Donna Jones mentioned.

Leanna Craft, a nurse educator on the neurological intensive care unit the place Vaught labored, testified that it was widespread for nurses at the moment to override the system as a way to get medication. The hospital had just lately up to date an digital data system, which led to delays in retrieving medicines. There was additionally no scanner within the imaging space for Vaught to scan the remedy in opposition to the affected person’s ID bracelet.

The jury discovered Vaught not responsible of reckless murder. Criminally negligent murder was a lesser offense included beneath the unique cost.

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