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Types of Errors

Dangerous and Defective Drugs If you put your trust in a pharmaceutical company and were hurt by their product, you deserve compensation for your suffering.
Wrong Medication Did you receive the wrong medication or incorrect prescription from a pharmacy? If you have suffered because of a medication error please call us for a free case review.
Wrong Dosage Common forms of medication error: incorrect dosage error. Order our free book to learn how to protect yourself and your family from wrong dosage errors.
Other Errors Order our free book, "How to Make Pharmacies Pay for your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors, to learn your rights in prescription error cases.
Kids Rx Errors Order a free copy of The Top 10 Tips to Protect Your Children Against Pharmacy Errors. If you have suffered a prescription error contact our firm today.
Pharmacy Malpractice If you have suffered an injury because a pharmacy dispensed the wrong medication or made an error with your prescription, you are able to file a claim for negligence or malpractice and receive the compensation you deserve.
Walgreens Pharmacy Error Claims There have been numerous claims brought against Walgreens for pharmacy errors or prescription errors. Order our free book to learn how to take action.
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Drug & Pharmacy Error Prevention Filing a pharmacy error lawsuit is the only way to make pharmacies take accountability for mistakes. Call our board certified attorneys for a free case review.
State Pharmacy Laws State laws on pharmacy malpractice. Learn the pharmacy error Statute of Limitation laws that apply to your state. Call 877-342-2020 for a free consultation.

Nurse Confuses Paralytic for Antacid;
Fails to follow safety protocols

David W. Hodges
Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law


Patient medication mistakesHundreds of medication errors are caused by similar-sounding drug names. The family of a 79-year-old man killed by this mistake wants to know why a paralytic – the same kind used in anesthesia before surgery for intubation and for lethal injection in death penalty cases – was on the floor of a non-surgical ward, and why the nurse mistook it for an antacid.

Richard Smith died after a nurse allegedly administered the wrong medication in his IV and now his family is suing that nurse in an effort to seek justice.
Nurse administers paralytic instead of Pepcid
After receiving a dialysis treatment, Smith was admitted to the ICU at North Shore Medical Center in Miami for shortness of breath. Smith complained to doctors about an upset stomach and the doctors prescribed Pepcid, an over-the-counter antacid.
According to reports, a nurse opened a locked drug cart and grabbed Pancuronium Bromide instead of the prescribed Pepcid. The nurse allegedly injected the medication into Smith’s IV and left the room.

Pancuronium acts as a muscle relaxant and paralytic and is used when intubating patients in surgery. Large doses of Pancuronium are used on inmates being put to death.

Smith was found unresponsive almost 30 minutes later. Although doctors resuscitated him, Smith remained in a vegetative state until he died a month later.

Nurse failed to follow several safety protocols.
According to a report from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, the nurse would have had to ignore nearly all of the safety protocols in place for administering drugs, including:

  • failing to check the medicine label, 
  • failing to scan and match the medication with the patient ID bracelet,
  • failing to follow drug cart dispensing safeguards.

In addition, the report says, the pharmacy wasn't able to show any justification for storing pancuronium in that particular area of the hospital.

Nurse still working on same hospital floor.
The nurse involved was reportedly fined $2,800, reprimanded, and required to go through remediation courses and retraining. He is still working in the hospital, on the same floor.

There are many questions left unanswered in this case, and the outcome, is of course, unknown at this time. We can only hope some justice is delivered to the family of Richard Smith, and that paralytics are removed from all floors except surgery suites and the emergency department.

If you want to learn more about taking action after a pharmacy or medication mistake, order our free book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors. You can also contact our office at 888-526-7616 to have our pharmacy error attorneys review your case for free.