When Richard Smith arrived at North Shore Medical Center in Miami Florida complaining of shortness of breath and stomach pain, his doctor prescribed Famotidine, a a histamine-2 blocker that reduces stomach acid, intravenously (IV) twice per day. However, what he received instead was Pancuronium bromide, a muscle relaxant. The medication error killed Smith. After receiving the wrong medication, Smith died a few weeks later.
The nurse who committed the fatal medical error was disciplined and cited for failure to perform safeguards in place to prevent medication errors such as failure to read the medication label, failure to scan the medication and failure to scan Smith’s patient ID bracelet.
It is likely that if the nurse had performed any of these required safety measures, Richard Smith would still be alive.
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