Trial date set for former Vanderbilt nurse accused of administering patient fatal dose

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A trial date has been set for a former nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center accused of giving a patient a fatal dose of the wrong medication.

During a court hearing Thursday morning, a jury trial for RaDonda Vaught was scheduled for March 21, 2022, the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office said.

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RaDonda Vaught (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)

Vaught faces more than ten years in prison for charges of reckless homicide and abuse of an impaired adult stemming from a deadly medication error in Dec. 2017.

Court documents state Charlene Murphey was waiting for a standard PET scan at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, when she was killed by a fatal dose of the wrong medication.

Vaught was asked to give Murphey a sedative to make her more comfortable, according to investigators.

Instead of the sedative Versed, which was ordered by Murphey’s doctor, Vaught reportedly chose the medication Vecuronium, which causes paralysis.

Murphey died within 20 minutes, according to investigators.

A TBI report states Vaught failed to catch a number of red flags between the time she grabbed the medication and when she gave it to Murphey. 

The report reveals Vaught was familiar with Versed and had given it to patients before and the steps to administer Vecuronium are very different.

The TBI explained Vaught should have stayed with Murphey after giving her the medication and she would have noticed symptoms of paralysis within minutes.

Vaught was arrested more than one year later in Feb. 2019 and was later released on a $50,000 bond.

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