The culture of silence around medical errors

The culture of silence around medical errors

By Perly Viasmensky

When a friend sent me this article written by Jeremy Faust with Inside Medicine, I thought to myself, this is nothing new, especially here in Las Vegas. Nurses make mistakes on a daily basis and never pay attention to requests and comments from family members.

Last week, a nurse named Radonda Vaught was found guilty of negligent homicide in a Tennessee courtroom several years after she inadvertently administered the wrong medication to a patient in the hospital where she worked. The patient died, apparently because of the error.

The case has received enormous attention in the medical world, not just because of the nature of the accident, but because the charges brought against Vaught were criminal, not civil. That means that Vaught will serve prison time as a result of her conviction, even though the prosecution never claimed the act was intentional, nor were there any particularly egregious lapses in judgment that I can identify, such as being intoxicated on the job.

Vaught’s case elicited statements from the American Nurses Association (ANA) and others. In particular, from the start, Vaught was forthcoming about the error, owning up to the awful situation. The ANA fears — as many of us do — that punishing a healthcare worker for a mistake that nobody would ever wish to make, will do nothing to prevent future accidents. If anything, this verdict, and the prison time to go with it, may contribute to a culture of silence around medical errors. Such silence may make systemic problems less readily identified and rectified.

This is the opposite of what we need. We need to destigmatize human errors, acknowledge them, and learn from them.

The mistake Vaught made was indeed a horrifying one. Instead of giving a patient Versed to treat anxiety prior to an MRI, the patient received Vecuronium, a paralytic agent used for intubation. (You’ll note the alphabetical similarities between the two medications). Shortly after, the patient stopped breathing and suffered brain damage before anyone noticed.

Here in Las Vegas nurses and providers (remember we no longer have medical doctors) we only have “providers” of destruction.

The family of a patient in Valley Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada instructed nursing personnel never and under any circumstances to give their family member Remdesivir, which the Federal Drug Administration approved under the name Veklury. They totally ignored the request of the family.

Remdesivir was developed in 2009 by Gilead Sciences to treat hepatitis C and respiratory viruses, but it didn’t work against those diseases. They continue trying to see if they could hit the jackpot.

I know people who died, all of them in an induced coma. Remdesivir kills your organs and hospital are using it to eliminate people, to murder them.

Remdesivir is killing patients and Medicare is paying bonuses to hospitals who use it.

Provider Anthony Fauci-Hitler knows about it; this is another thing we need to thank him for regarding his supposed science.

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Perly Viasmensky is the General Manager of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Perly Viasmensky, email her at

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