IV Mixup Leads to Cardiac Arrest and Lawsuit in Tennessee

An Indiana man has filed suit against Hamilton County, Tennessee claiming that while being treated for an ankle injury and dehydration back in 2011, he was inadvertently given Lidocaine which resulted in him going into cardiac arrest.

On September 6, 2011, Melvin Davis, 57, of West Harrison, Indiana was hiking in Hamilton County, Tennessee, at Greenway Farms when he came upon a ropes course. He became entangled in the ropes and remained stuck there for 2 days.

Davis was discovered by another hiker on September 8, 2011 and Hamilton County EMS responded. Paramedic Timothy Waldo allegedly established an IV of normal saline, and then by mistake administered a 500ml bag of Lidocaine run wide open.

The Lidocaine put Mr. Davis into cardiac arrest, and he was successfully resuscitated by the staff at Erlanger Hospital.

The Chattanoogan.com has a copy of the complaint (although it appears to have some cut and paste errors in it). Davis is seeking $300,000 from Hamilton County and Hamilton County EMS.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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