Richard Smith, 79-Year-Old Miami Man, Dies After Accidentally Receiving Execution Drug

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The family of a deceased Florida man is suing a Miami hospital, claiming a mixup in which he was given a medication used in executions led to his death.

Richard Smith, 79, was admitted to North Shore Hospital on July 30, 2010, with shortness of breath and stomach trouble. Smith's son, Marc, told WSVN-TV that when he arrived at the hospital, a doctor informed him that his father had gone into respiratory arrest after receiving the wrong medication.

The Smith family claims the nurse administered Pancuronium, a muscle relaxant, instead of the antacid Pepcid. The Daily Mail reports that Pancuronium is one of three drugs used in executions in many states, though it is also used in the operating room.

Smith was resuscitated, but eventually died a month later, according to the Miami New Times.

The nurse who allegedly administered the drug into Smith's IV tube, identified by the Daily Mail as Uvo Ologboride, is still working with patients, despite an investigation into the incident.

"Our hearts go out to the Smith family for their loss," read a statement released by the hospital as reported by WSVN. "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."

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