When a person in Tennessee goes to a hospital for tests, one expects all appropriate precautions will be taken regarding tests and medications that may be administered. In a recent tragic episode at Vanderbilt University Medical Center this did not happen. As a result, the facility could face a wrongful death lawsuit.

About a year ago, a patient was admitted to VUMC complaining of headaches, vision loss and other symptoms. She stated that she was severely claustrophobic. A nurse was asked to provide the patient with a 2 mg dose of Versed, a medication that reduces anxiety, before a PET scan was administered. What the nurse administered was not Versed.

The nurse reportedly administered a dose of Vecuronium, a drug that induces paralysis. Vecuronium is a drug that is used as a fatal injection in capital cases. It is used to carry out executions of murderers and serial killers. The dose allegedly administered by the nurse was a lethal one. The drug caused the patient to go into cardiac arrest and she died a few days later.

The sudden and unexpected death of a loved one in Tennessee is never easy to bear. When it occurs due to a preventable, tragic mistake, the grief and shock may be devastating. While a family may not wish to consider legal options in the immediate aftermath of such a devastating event, it may be beneficial to be familiar with one’s rights in such a circumstance. A successfully litigated wrongful death claim can provide financial relief for medical costs, pain and suffering and other verifiable losses.