A 53-year-old Alabama licensed practical nurse is facing trial on charges of first degree elder abuse and neglect. In the latest update, the nurse recently entered a plea of not guilty.
In an interesting twist, the nurse’s alleged wrongdoing may have started unintentionally. According to the allegations, the nurse may have accidentally switched a narcotic pain medication in place of cough medicine. However, instead of acknowledging the mistake, the nurse reportedly doctored the patient’s treatment records.
Another nurse at the Chilton County nursing home discovered the mistake on a later shift because the patient had begun displaying symptoms of an overdose. By one account, the patient nearly died. She was rushed to a local hospital, where she received treatment in the intensive care unit. Fortunately, the patient survived and was released after several days.
Authorities allege that the patient’s reaction to the narcotic could have been significantly reduced had the nurse promptly reported the medication mistake instead of covering the erroneous dosage in the patient’s treatment records. For that act, the nurse was arrested, charged with the felony of intentional neglect, and is now facing a sentence between 10 years and life. Her bail alone was a $15,000 bond.
Our law firm has helped victims of others’ negligence in a variety of personal injury contexts, including nursing home abuse. Under Alabama law, nursing home abuse or neglect rises to a first degree felony offense if the actions were intentional and resulted in a serious physical injury, of which a substantial risk of death is one of the enumerated definitions.
Source: Clanton Advertiser, “Maplesville woman pleads not guilty to elder abuse charge,” Emily Reed, Sept. 10, 2015