Richard Smith was admitted to North Shore Medical Center with complaints of shortness of breath and stomach trouble. Instead of giving him proper care, a nurse accidentally stuck Smith with a syringe full of pancuronium, one of the drugs used in lethal injections. Seventy-nine-year-old Smith later died, and now his family is suing. Meanwhile, the nurse responsible for the mixup is still working.
Smith was admitted to the hospital July 30, 2010. The nurse, identified as Uvo Ologboride by the Daily Mail, meant to give Smith a shot of Pepcid to ease his upset stomach but accidentally grabbed the lethal injection drug. The nurse then left Smith alone in the hospital room for a half-hour.
The drug, used as a muscle relaxant, sent Smith into respiratory arrest. Doctors were able to revive him, but Smith died a month later.
Smith, who had been married to his wife Lula for 50 years after meeting her in college, raised four kids and took care of ten others.
Now the family is suing North Shore and wants to make sure nothing like this happens again.
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"I'm mad because it seems like you can take a life and you don't have to answer for it," daughter Vickie Jackson told WSVN.
"Our hearts go out to the Smith family for their loss," reads a statement released by the hospital. "This was a tragic event that was immediately self-reported to the agency for health care administration. We conducted an internal review and have several new processes in place to ensure a situation like this doesn't happen again."
However, the family's attorney says the nurse responsible for the mistake continues to treat ICU patients at the hospital.