After documents expose mistakes she made, nurse continues to garner support

Local News
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RaDonda Vaught told the TBI that before she gave a patient a fatal dose of the wrong medication, she was “distracted” and that she overrode a safety feature on the automated medication dispenser at Vanderbilt Medical Center. 

According to court documents, she also said she “f—ed up” and “probably killed a patient.” 

However, the 35-year-old continues to garner support.  

Janie Harvey-Garner created the Facebook group “Show Me Your Stethoscope.” The group’s members helped raised thousands of dollars to bail Vaught out of jail and to help pay for her criminal defense attorney. 

Vaught faces a reckless homicide charge and abuse of an impaired adult. 

Harvey-Garner traveled from another state to support Vaught at her arraignment.  

In a Facebook message she wrote, “This was a tragic cascade. The very epitome of the Swiss cheese model. Every measure intended to prevent this failed to stop it. RaDonda made mistakes and the Tennessee Board of Nursing should be the ones to decide if she ever practices again. This does not rise to the level of criminality.” 

State prosecutors laid out in court documents that Murphey’s death could have been prevented. She was supposed to receive a sedative but instead, Vaught gave her Vecuronium, which is a paralyzing agent that stops breathing. 

The documents state that the former Vanderbilt nurse ignored several warnings on December 26, 2017, when retrieving the medication. 

It says she overrode the system to get Versed when the medication she was looking for didn’t come up. 

“The prosecution is leaning heavily on ‘overriding the medication system’. I literally override every single day, multiple times,” Harvey-Garner said. 

The prosecution said Vaught then ignored several warnings after overriding the system including, a pop-up screen asking for the reason for the override. Also, the screen would have said “paralyzing agent”. 

Another pop-up would have alerted to the paralyzing agent and lastly, a third warning for the paralyzing agent would have been shown on the screen. 

The prosecution also says Vaught failed to respond to a number of red flags.

Harvey-Garner calls the mistakes “terrible” and wondered if Vaught was inexperienced. Still, she does not believe the mistakes should be punished criminally. 

Vaught is back in court Apr. 11. Neither her lawyer nor Charlene Murphey’s family had comment. 

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