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Roanoke County Nurse Reprimanded after Young Patient Dies

October 10, 2013 by The Parrish Law Firm

A Roanoke County nurse is being reprimanded after administering twice the recommended dosage of a narcotic to a 17-year-old girl about seven hours before her death, reports The Roanoke Times.

The Virginia Board of Nursing found that Yevonne Powers, a registered urgent care nurse at MedExpress, violated guidelines that govern the welfare and health of patients when she administered a dosage of the drug Dilaudid to Jessica Erin Hart of Montvale. Although the drug has not been definitively linked to Hart’s death, the board did find fault in the April 4 treatment.

Powers has 30 days to appeal the recommendation, or else the reprimand will be finalized. The reprimand publically acknowledges that Powers violated nursing regulations she is expected to follow.

Powers administered the 4 milligram does of Dilaudid, a potent opioid similar to morphine, to Hart when her mother brought her in with a severe sore throat.

On the doctor’s recommendation, Powers gave the dose despite the known risk of respiratory depression associated with the drug, and knowing the quantity was at least twice the recommended dosage. Hart was only 105 pounds at the time, and board members raised questions about Hart’s age and weight.

After leaving the urgent care center, Hart went into respiratory and cardiac failure and died a few hours later at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. An autopsy revealed the Hart died from complications from mononucleosis, and it was not clear if the dose of Dilaudid contributed to her death.

The board’s decision will allow Powers to continue nursing, but she will need to complete a training program on professional accountability.

Parrish Law Firm, PLLC medical malpractice attorney works with northern Virginia residents who have suffered injuries because of another person’s negligence. Contact us today for a free case consultation, or call us at 703-906-4229.

A representative of Parrish Law Firm, PLLC researched and wrote this article with Mr. Parrish’s consent. If you have any questions regarding the legal implications of what you have just read, please send us your question so we can have our attorney review it.

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