A former Kentucky nurse has been indicted for murder in the death of an individual at a Lexington hospital.
In accordance with a Lexington Police Department statement, Eyvette Renee Hunter, 52, was indicted and arrested Tuesday for distributing lorazepam (Ativan) on April 30 to James Morris, age 97, against orders from the nurse practitioner and physician at Baptist Health. Hunter “performed actions of medical maltreatment” to Morris, and he died on, may 5 “as the result of those actions,” based on the statement.
A healthcare facility fired her exactly the same day of the incident, and “Baptist Health Lexington has been cooperative and aided in the investigation,” based on the police.
Hunter’s nursing license was suspended indefinitely on August 22 following the Kentucky Board of Nursing investigated a complaint from a healthcare facility. Based on the suspension order, Morris have been admitted for a slip and fall injury.
“The report nurse informed Respondent [Hunter] that the individual have been restless and spent the majority of the previous night in the hallway sitting in a recliner,” based on the suspension order. Hunter alleged that she assisted the individual to his chair, but he became “became agitated and aggressive, so she visited get restraints.”
After her request to medicate Morris was denied, Hunger obtained 2 mg of lorazepam that has been designed for another patient, the suspension order states. When Morris tried to obtain up and tripped a chair alarm, Hunter returned in with other staff and gave the individual an injection. After Morris was sedated, Hunter was asked what she had given him, and she replied “something special,” per the suspension order.
Another nurse found Morris struggling to breathe and his oxygen monitor disconnected; Hunter “had disarmed/lowered the oxygen monitoring system many times concerning not tripped an alarm at the bedside,” based on the suspension order. The individual had low blood oxygen, and following a respiratory therapist gave him breathing treatment and suctioned him, they found “a grayish/black substance that has been regarded as food and/or medication.” This indicated he previously breathed food or medication in to the lungs, based on the suspension order.
Morris was presented with medication to reverse the consequences of the lorazepam and was responsive, but ultimately succumbed to “aspirational pneumonia,” based on the suspension order. Hunter’s statement and written reaction to the Board confirmed she had given Morris the medication lacking any order, and fed him afterward. She also changed documentation for the individual for whom the medication was designed to state “not given,” per the suspension order.
Morris’ obituary stated he was a retired authorities employee, and a global War II veteran, in addition to a Korean War vet.
Hunter’s LinkedIn profile indicates she was a graduate of Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland, and had previously worked as a hospice nurse, so when a nurse at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital in Lexington.
Baptist Health Lexington hadn’t returned a obtain comment from MedPage Today by press time.