Lexington nurse accused of killing patient worked at 2 hospitals

Eyvette Hunter (Fayette County Detention Center photo)

A Lexington nurse who was indicted Monday on charges of murdering a patient at Baptist Health Lexington had worked at the University of Kentucky‘s main hospital until the charge was filed, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

“Eyvette Hunter, 52, was charged with murder for allegedly committing intentional medical maltreatment, causing a 97-year-old patient’s death on May 5,” Christopher Leach reports. “The patient, James Morris, died as ‘a direct result’ of Hunter’s actions on April 30, Lexington police said in a news release Tuesday. Hunter was arrested on Tuesday and is being held at the Fayette County Detention Center on a $100,000 bond, according to jail records.”

UK spokesman Jay Blanton confirmed to Leach that Hunter was also working at the Albert B. Chandler Hospital as a traveling nurse, placed by an outside agency, from November 2021 to the date of her arrest. Blanton said she was immediately released from her duties after UK HealthCare learned of her suspension by the Kentucky Board of Nursing and the indictment Tuesday.

Those records show that Hunter previously held nursing licenses in other states, but did not face discipline from boards in those states, Leach reports. Blanton and a Baptist Health spokesperson told Leach that Hunter had no maltreatment incidents before the one alleged. She was licensed as a registered nurse in Kentucky in 2018 and as a licensed practical nurse in 2007, state records say.

According to Hunter’s suspension order, Morris, who was admitted to the hospital “after a slip and fall injury,” was aggressive and agitated while in the hospital, Leach reports. Hunter requested medication to calm him down on April 30, which was denied. Hunter then allegedly withdrew a vial of lorazepam meant for another patient and appeared in Morris’s room several minutes later with a syringe and “proceeded to administer something intravenously,” the order says.
Lorazepam is in a group of drugs called benzodiazepines, used to treat anxiety.
The Board of Nursing order suspending Hunter said another hospital employee saw what happened, asked Hunter what she gave Morris, and Hunter answered “something special.” The order said his oxygen saturation equipment had been turned off and he aspirated food or medicine, developed pneumonia and was admitted May 3 to hospice care , where he died two days later.
Leach reports the order says Hunter later admitted that she had given Ativan, the brand name for lorazepam, to Morris without an order “as well as subsequently feeding him.”


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