Questions About Death At Duke Hospital

An autopsy shows a woman who died at the Duke University hospital earlier this year suffered an overdose of a common antihistamine and a pain reliever.

Multiple media outlets report that 30-year-old Cheryl Lynn Suber of Garner died in October 5 from overdoses of oxycodone and the allergy medicine diphenhydramine, or Benadryl.

A nurse found Suber after her boyfriend asked the nurse to check on her.

Hospital staff found two syringes they didn't recognize in Suber's bed. They were labeled "saline" but contained a pink liquid. The medical examiner's office later identified it as diphenhydramine, which had not been prescribed to Suber.

Duke University police are investigating.
Suber suffered from sickle cell anemia and had gone to the hospital for chest pains.


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  • by Anonymous on Dec 22, 2010 at 09:19 PM
    It is so sad a woman has lost her life.I would look into the boyfriend. I doubt a nurse left 2 syringes behind like that. I also doubt the woman injected herself since she was seeking help.If she had wanted to commit suicide or something why would she check into a hospital and do it?
  • by Sueb Location: washington on Dec 22, 2010 at 06:28 PM
    This article doesn't say if this woman had chronic pain or was a drug seeker, but I can vouch for Victoria's statement. People bring their own medicines to the hospital FREQUENTLY and even hide them from the nurses/doctors.
  • by To Victoria Location: Gville on Dec 22, 2010 at 04:47 PM
    Where do you get the "professional" patient concept? I didn't read that in the article. Working as a healthcare consultant I know there are incidents, and how do we not know that the wrong med was pulled and given? Just asking and no blame, and yes folks are human but if she were not prescribed this, then either it was an accident by a provider/nurse, and I truly doubt the patient would have given their own injection while in the hospital. It's called home meds, and I seriously doubt that was the case. Sounds like a mistake was made, and of course I understand folks are human, but that's why you have to check twice from the MAR (Medication Administration record) and verify the med in hand prior to administering. So sad.
  • by Victoria Location: Oak Hill on Dec 22, 2010 at 02:52 PM
    As a seasoned nurse I know first hand how often "professional" patients bring medications/drugs into our hospitals.I feel there is a great chance this sickle celler did just that.
  • by J Location: NC on Dec 22, 2010 at 06:39 AM
    Wow, very strange case. I hope they can figure this out. You should be safe in a place like that. However the woman could have used it herself? I do not think a nurse would leave the needles in the bed?
  • by Anonymous Location: NC on Dec 22, 2010 at 06:20 AM
    I certainly hope that they figure out what happened in this situation.....Cheryl was such a nice girl....
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