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Off-Duty Nurse Is Hospitalized for Knee Complaints - She Is Over-Medicated and Dies from Respiratory Depression Overnight - Confidential Settlement

This is one of those cases that still makes me angry. In this case, an off-duty nurse is hospitalized for the most routine of things – a knee that has been in pain. It was thought that she might undergo surgery. During the night, she is over-medicated.

Despite the fact that she is behaving in a fashion consistent with opioid overdose (due to pain medication), the nurses respond to her behavior by simply giving her more pain medication. This was despite the fact that the patient was not complaining of pain, she was simply repeatedly getting up and out of her bed not knowing where she was. Of course, pain medication is never to be given for sedation. But that’s what the night shift nurse did. By the early morning hours, this otherwise perfectly healthy woman was dead.

During litigation, a confidential settlement was reached.