NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A software issue may have played a role in a nurse’s fatal error.
Tuesday we heard testimony from Vanderbilt Medical Center employees admitting that they would have to override the system at times for medicine. That’s what RaDonda Vaught said she did the day she gave a patient a fatal dose of the wrong medication in 2017.
More than a half dozen witnesses took the stand on day one of the trial, as the nurse faces a homicide charge for the error that claimed the life of 75-year-old Charlene Murphey.
Her daughter-in-law, Chandra, who was at Vanderbilt that day in 2017, gave emotional testimony.
“I said they done killed her. How do you take someone for a PET scan and then kill them, it’s a simple PET scan. She went down fine and come back dead. I just grabbed her hand and held it. I took pictures of her and it was live so you can catch pieces of her jerking,” she cried from the stand.
That live photo clip was played for the courtroom. Her testimony brought family members in the courtroom to tears, as well as the defendant. The former nurse first covered her face as she cried and then she laid her head down on the table towards the ground.
Vaught also kept her head down during an audio recording of an interview where she told the TBI she messes up and should have taken more steps before overriding the system and giving the victim that fatal dose of the wrong medication.
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About a dozen nurses showed up at the courthouse Tuesday to support Vaught, one wearing scrubs. Those we spoke with called the case terrifying for the healthcare community.
“This will set a precedent for anyone, anyone who deals directly with the public who if you make a mistake it could cost someone their life or serious bodily harm,” said Tina Vinsant who is a nurse from Knoxville.
Tanya Radic agreed, “The consequences of putting the total case on to one nurse for one incident is a burden, an atlas and I feel this poor child is bearing the burden of the world and I’m here to support her.”
Day two is set to begin Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. with cross-examination of a TBI agent.