A 79-year-old man who went to the hospital complaining of breathing and stomach problems died soon after a nurse accidentally gave him an injection of a drug used to execute death row prisoners. Now his family is suing the hospital to make sure that the same mistake will never happen again.
Richard Smith visited North Shore Medical Center in Miami with complaints of shortness of breath and stomach. A nurse at the hospital, Uvo Ologboride, planned on giving Smith an injection of Pepcid, an over-the-counter antacid, in order to alleviate the stomach symptoms. But instead of Pepcid, Ologboride accidentally grabbed a dose of the lethal injection drug, Pancuronium, and put it into Smith's IV.
When Smith's son, Marc, arrived at the hospital, he said a doctor told him: "I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but the nurse gave your dad the wrong medication, and it sent him into respiratory arrest. He grabbed the wrong package," reported WSVN.
The drug, which is used as a muscle relaxer in small does, caused Smith's heart to stop. Doctors were able to revive him, but he never regained brain function, and one month later, he died.
According to WPBF, Ologboride was fined $2,800 for administering the wrong drug and had to take re-training classes.
Smith's family is now suing the hospital.
Family attorney Andrew Yaffa criticized the hospital for allowing Ologboride to continue working with intensive care unit patients.
"But this nurse, as we sit here today, knowing the multiple levels of neglect, is still working in that ICU on patients just like Richard Smith," said Yaffa.
In a statement, North Shore Medical Center said: "Our hearts go out to the Smith family for their loss. This was a tragic event that was immediately self-reported to the agency for health care administration. We conducted an internal review and have several new processes in place to ensure a situation like this doesn't happen again."
"I'm mad because it seems like you can take a life and you don't have to answer for it," daughter Vickie Jackson told WSVN.