Tennessee reverses decision not to discipline nurse for fatal medication error

The Tennessee Department of Health on Sept. 27 filed medical discipline charges against RaDonda Vaught, a former nurse at Nashville-based Vanderbilt University Medical Center who accidentally injected a 75-year-old patient with a fatal medication dose in 2017, reports the Tennessean.

The publication discovered the charges this week after obtaining state documents through an open records request. The medical board charged Ms. Vaught with unprofessional conduct, abandoning or neglecting a patient that required her care, and failing to maintain an accurate patient record.

A disciplinary hearing is scheduled for Ms. Vaught Nov. 20. Punitive actions could entail the suspension or revocation of her nursing license, along with thousands of dollars in fines.

The health department's move comes about eight months after the state investigated Ms. Vaught and decided not to pursue disciplinary measures. In early 2019, Ms. Vaught was also indicted on charges of reckless homicide and impaired adult abuse. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

A spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Health declined the Tennessean's request to comment on Ms. Vaught's case or say why the department reversed its decision.

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