Medication error lands staff with nursing home abuse charge

If there is inadequate enforcement or oversight, will professional standards of nursing home care be upheld? A recent story raises concerns. 

Specifically, an Alabama nurse was accused of giving the wrong medication to an elderly patient in her care, and then failing to report the mistake. The mix-up involved a narcotic pain medication, instead of cough medicine. The 53-year-old nurse recently pled guilty to the reckless abuse charge. 

Nursing home facilities offer both residential and medical services to their elderly residents. As in other medical facilities, medical records are generally maintained to ensure patient treatments are kept at a professional level of care. In this case, unfortunately, the nurse allegedly altered the treatment records of the victim in question. The cover-up might have gone unnoticed had the elderly patient not overdosed on the medication and spent several days in intensive care. Although the patient recovered, she might have avoided more prolonged effects had the nurse reported the mistake sooner.

The incident was handled by the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, which has a Medicaid Fraud Unit. Although not every allegation of nursing home abuse might grab the attention of local authorities, our law firm responds to any allegation of nursing home neglect or abuse with utmost care. The mistreatment of an elderly resident is no small matter, especially one who may be unable to voice his or her own complaints. We investigate allegations of nursing home abuse or neglect very seriously, and bring a substantial amount of experience to the table. Our website describes some of the cases we have investigated, as well as our notable track record of success.

Source: al.com, “Alabama nurse pleads guilty to elder abuse; did not report giving wrong drug,” Kent Faulk, March 9, 2016

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