Archives for July 22, 2007

Bad Ways to Die, Part 137,…

HARLESTON, West Virginia (AP) — A nurse was convicted Friday of killing her husband with paralyzing drugs and setting fire to their house to claim the insurance money.

Michelle Michael, 35, had taken the stand in her own defense and denied killing James Michael.

Authorities determined that the 33-year-old businessman was injected with a fatal dose of rocuronium, a paralyzing drug, as he lay in bed in couple’s Morgantown home in November 2005.

Prosecutors argued that his wife drugged him, left for work, then returned later that morning to set fire to the bed in an effort to cover her tracks.

Rocuronium is a nice little drug, and I’ve used it a few times during intubations, when I need to induce unconsciousness in a patient (with a different drug) and then paralysis, which is the role of rocuronium. I don’t use it much, as in the recommended doses it takes a little longer than I’d usually like for a rapid sequence intubation (I like Sux).

I mention this because the deceased, according to the article, died from rocuronium. As a single agent. So, he died of suffocation due to paralysis, quite possibly awake until the end. And unless she used an IV and a whopping overdosage, it took a few minutes.

Another bad way to die…