By the time the elderly are placed in nursing homes or long term care facilities, they are in fragile health and need to be carefully monitored. They are vulnerable and the slightest change in diet or medication can have fatal consequences. Medication is incredibly important to keeping the health of the elderly strong and the staff of these facilities needs to make sure that each patient is receiving all of the medication that is being prescribed to them by their doctor. When nursing homes fail to provide residents with the medication their doctors prescribe them, they are guilty of Nursing home neglect.
Resident Dies After Missing 26 Doses of Medication
A woman entered the Lake Ridge Care Center in Buffalo, Minnesota on January 14, 2010 with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure and low potassium. She was prescribed two tablets of potassium three times a day to help keep her blood pumping through her heart. On January 23, 2010, the resident was sent to the emergency room because she was found unresponsive. Treaters in the emergency found a severely abnormal heart rhythm and extremely low potassium levels. The woman died later that afternoon. Her official cause of death was cardiac arrest.
After an investigation by the state Health Department, it was discovered that the woman missed 26 of her potassium doses over more than eight days. The report stated that the nursing home provided “inadequate medication administration.” The investigation also found that the facility mishandled other medications, not only for this woman, but for other residents.
This woman’s death was preventable and her condition maintainable. Her doctor provided a substantial and adequate treatment, and her nursing home neglected failed to administer it, causing her health to deteriorate very quickly.
Some nursing home residents are able to remember on their own to take their medications, but others need the facility to be on top of their medicine schedule. Sometimes, when residents are new to a facility, the staff is not familiar with the patient yet and certain things like medication can fall through the cracks. It is very important if you have a loved one in a nursing home that you communicate all of their needs to the staff. This case shows us how important every prescription is to the heath of the elderly.
Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia
If your loved one is currently a resident of a nursing home or care facility and you are worried that they are not receiving their medication, or that the care they are receiving is negligent, abusive, or inadequate, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.