How is it possible a nurse could administer 10 times the dose of a drug ordered by a doctor?
The Coral Springs mother went to the emergency room feeling sick after running out of medicine. But instead of just getting a refill, she died when a nurse gave her a massive overdose of a seizure drug, according to hospital officials and state records.
The nurse at Broward General Medical Center injected Michelene Plass, 44, with 10 times the dose the doctor ordered, officials said. To get that much, nurse Dionne Cooper had to round up 32 vials of the drug. Plass died in minutes.
Plass’ death in April is getting fresh scrutiny, as an outgrowth of a lawsuit filed by her ER doctor, Paul Rohart, who contends he was unfairly dismissed. The nurse also was fired. After Rohart contacted them last week, Broward County prosecutors asked Fort Lauderdale police to begin a criminal review of the case and the nation’s hospital accrediting group agreed to examine Broward General’s response to the death.
Rohart and Plass’ mother said that they were stunned that Cooper would give such a high dosage without double-checking the script and that the hospital’s safety system did not catch the error.
“She came to the hospital for help and this is the way she came out,” said her mother, Peggy Plass, of Lincoln, Ala. “How could this happen? How could they make a mistake this big? It’s beyond belief.”
The chief executive of the North Broward Hospital District, a tax-assisted body that owns Broward General, said the nurse and hospital staff were crushed by the fatal error and adopted new practices to prevent similar mistakes.
From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Many overdoses just don’t make any sense. In my experience, they tend to be totally out of the customary range, not just slightly excessive.