Richard Smith’s family to sue Miami Nurse

Richard Smith

Richard Smith

The family of a 79-year-old dialysis patient is suing a Florida nurse who accidentally gave him a deadly dose of a drug that induces paralysis, instead of an antacid.

“The hospital killed my dad,” said Marc Smith of Miami, Fla., whose father went into cardiac arrest after the nurse’s mistake at North Shore Medical Center in Miami.

Richard Smith, who had a history of kidney disease, had been admitted to the ICU after a dialysis session where he experienced severe shortness of breath. The next day, July 30, 2010, he complained of an upset stomach, so the doctor prescribed the antacid.

Marc Smith came by to visit that morning, and found his dad “unconscious, unresponsive and on a respirator.”

“The nurse said my dad had coded. I said, ‘He coded? When did that happen?'”

Smith looked at his dad’s chart, and found his father had been resuscitated about 10 minutes earlier.

“The nurse basically told me, ‘Talk to the doctor,” Marc Smith said.

When he did, he says, the doctor told him, “I’m sorry to have to tell you this but the nurse administered the wrong medication and sent your dad into respiratory arrest.”

“He said the packaging looked the same and he grabbed the wrong package,” Marc Smith recalled.

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