mylife1060 (mylife1060) wrote in nursing_tmi,

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A really bad spot...

Hey all.  I have a strange, but very interesting situation.  I am not involved - I do not know who is involved.  A doctor asked us our opinions today of what to think of it.

Patient on hospice for lung cancer.  Order for Morphine 0.5 - 1 mg (don't know how it was written) q hour for pain.  Nurse made a med error and gave 10 mg of morphine.  This depressed his respirations and killed him.  He was basically euthanized.

The family is very upset and have already been to the police.  Would this be a criminal act or a civil suit?  I feel so bad for everyone.  The nurse that made the error will certainly not be a nurse anymore, the family lost a loved one sooner than expected, but it was inevitable (though there are miracles).  The order is a very small order for Morphine and we are all just that one decimal from this situation.

The only thing we could come up with is that they would need to determine intent - if intended, it would be criminal.  If truly an error, just a civil case.

Any ideas on this?  I am interested in seeing how people feel.
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