Nurse charged in fatal drug-swap error pleads not guilty
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee nurse charged with reckless homicide after a medication error killed a patient has pleaded not guilty.
The Nashville courtroom on Wednesday was packed with nurses in scrubs who came to support RaDonda Vaught during the brief hearing. They have also rallied around her online, where she has raised more than $72,000 for her legal bills.
According to a report on the accident, Vaught accidentally injected 75-year-old Charlene Murphey with the paralytic vecuronium in December 2017 instead of the sedative Versed.
The mistake came when the 35-year-old Vaught could not find Versed in an automatic dispensing cabinet and used an override. Then she typed in “VE” and picked the first drug that came up.
After the hearing, Vaught’s attorney called the criminal charge against the nurse “completely unfathomable.”
This story has been edited to correct the spelling of the nurse’s first name to RaDonda and to correct the charge to reckless homicide.