Nursing Home Neglect and Medication Errors Lead to $3,000 Fine

nursing home neglect in NJ and PAThe Regency Heights of Danielson nursing home facility in Connecticut is facing a $3,000 fine after multiple cases of nursing home neglect were discovered. The facility was cited by the Department of Public Health on August 18th because, according to the report, several nurses at the facility were not giving all of the prescribed medications to the residents. The director of nurses was notified of the problem in July and an internal investigation from the facility was conducted. They found at least 18 cases where the residents, including those who suffered from heart failure, hypertension, and seizures, were not given their medications. They initially found that one licensed practical nurse was withholding medication from a diabetic patient. She was suspended and then fired. The director of nurses then performed a full audit of all medication carts and concluded that “multiple other nurses had also not administered all medications as prescribed.”

The most alarming of the cases was one diabetic patient was not given 72 doses of Glucophage over seven months. Glucophage is a medication that helps control the glucose in the blood. Luckily,  none of the patients died or were seriously harmed as a result of the medicinal neglect. All of the residents were evaluated medically and the nursing home re-trained the entire staff on administering medication.

The Importance of Medication for the Elderly

Neglecting to administer medications to the elderly and disabled residents of nursing homes can have fatal consequences. By the time someone must depend on a nursing home to provide necessary care, their health is quite fragile. Medications are incredibly important to maintain a comfortable quality of life and to correct the health problems that come with old age.

Some residents are capable of medicating themselves, however a large number of residents need staff assistance to stay on top of a treatment schedule. When residents are new to a facility, the staff is not yet familiar with their medications, so as nursing home neglect attorneys, we strongly encourage communicating the needs of your loved ones when starting in a new facility in order to prevent this type of nursing home neglect.

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.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers: Nurse Charged for Overmedicating Residents

nursing home abuse lawyers in NJ and PASome caregivers and nurses use medications as a way to calm their patients and make them easier to handle. As nursing home abuse lawyers, we see many cases of abuse where overworked and frustrated care workers abuse and neglect their patients in many different ways. Marty Himebaugh, 60 years old, has pleaded guilty to felony criminal neglect for overmedicating residents and giving patients medications they had not been prescribed. Prosecutors have dropped five other felony counts against the former nurse after her guilty plea, but she still faces up to three years in prison. She admitted to giving the anti-anxiety medication Ativanto an agitated male resident who had not been prescribed the medication by a doctor.

In 2006, authorities began investigating the nursing home facility where Himebaugh worked after six resident deaths involved overdoses of morphine. In 2008, Himebaugh and her former supervisor, Penny Whitlock, were charged due to their connection with the nursing homes. Neither were charged with causing any of the patient deaths.

In 2009, Himebaugh’s nursing license was suspended by the state. This year, Whitlock was acquitted of charges that she allowed Himebaugh to overmedicate her patients and that she tried to obstruct the investigation by ordering an employee to destroy drugs she kept in her desk. Although she denies using the phrase, according to reports Whitlock nicknamed Himebaugh the Angel of Deathbecause of the way her patients died.

Victim’s Loved Ones Conflicted about Guilty Plea

According to Himebaugh’s attorney Sam Amirante, “She really felt she did the right thing.” He will be pushing for Himebaugh to be placed on probation, saying that “It’s been a long haul for her. She wanted to get this over with and go on with her life.” But the relatives of the patients that died because of Himebaugh’s actions are upset with the plea deal. “We’re saddened she didn’t have to face trial on all the charges, we’re gratified she admitted some of her guilt,” said Steven Levin, who represents relatives of 78-year-old Virginia Cole.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is currently a resident of a nursing home or care facility, pay attention to the quality of the nursing staff. If you are worried 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.

Nursing Home Neglect and Medication Errors Lead to $3,000 Fine

new jersey philadelphia nursing home neglect medical errors training staff

The Regency Heights of Danielson nursing home facility in Connecticut is facing a $3,000 fine after multiple cases of nursing home neglect were discovered. The facility was cited by the Department of Public Health on August 18th because, according to the report, several nurses at the facility were not giving all of the prescribed medications to the residents. The director of nurses was notified of the problem in July and an internal investigation from the facility was conducted. They found at least 18 cases where the residents, including those who suffered from heart failure, hypertension, and seizures, were not given their medications. They initially found that one licensed practical nurse was withholding medication from a diabetic patient. She was suspended and then fired. The director of nurses then performed a full audit of all medication carts and concluded that “multiple other nurses had also not administered all medications as prescribed.”

The most alarming of the cases was one diabetic patient was not given 72 doses of Glucophage over seven months. Glucophage is a medication that helps control the glucose in the blood. Luckily, none of the patients died or were seriously harmed as a result of the medicinal neglect. All of the residents were evaluated medically and the nursing home re-trained the entire staff on administering medication.

The Importance of Medication for the Elderly

Neglecting to administer medications to the elderly and disabled residents of nursing homes can have fatal consequences. By the time someone must depend on a nursing home to provide necessary care, their health is quite fragile. Medications are incredibly important to maintain a comfortable quality of life and to correct the health problems that come with old age.

Some residents are capable of medicating themselves, however a large number of residents need staff assistance to stay on top of a treatment schedule. When residents are new to a facility, the staff is not yet familiar with their medications, so as nursing home neglect attorneys, we strongly encourage communicating the needs of your loved ones when starting in a new facility in order to prevent this type of nursing home neglect.

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 with one of our nursing home neglect lawyers at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Nursing Home Neglect Warning: Certain Anti-depressants Increase Risk of Falls

As nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers, we believe it is important to keep readers informed of any new revelations when it comes to care for the elderly. That is why this blog post centers around the results of a recent study, which show that nursing home residents’ fall risk increases when certain anti-depressants are prescribed. The elderly are in a vulnerable physical state and are often prescribed a high number of medications, all with different side effects. It is very important that the nursing homes monitor the medications that are being given to their residents, to make sure that they are safe combinations and that the drugs are appropriate for each patient. Many drugs may have the intended result for the patient, but the side effects may be too dangerous for that particular person.

Change in Dose of Non-SSRI Antidepressant Can Increase Risk of Falls in Elderly

nursing home neglect in NJ and PAAccording to a study that was published online in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences by Dr. Sarah D. Berry, a scientist at the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston, the elderly are at a greater risk of falling the days after they start taking non-SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants, such as bupropion or venlafaxine. The researchers studied information on 1,181 nursing home residents who fell and compared the changes in their antidepressants shortly before the fall. They discovered that a patient’s risk of falling is five times higher two days after changing prescriptions or changing to a higher dose and that the risk falls each day after the medication change. According to Dr. Berry:

“Our results identify the days following a new prescription or increased dose of a non-SSRI antidepressant as a window of time associated with a particularly high risk of falling among nursing home residents…. These drugs are effective at treating the symptoms of depression, and many clinicians are reluctant to withhold their use based solely on a risk for falls…. Nursing home staff should keep a watchful eye on residents in the days following a non-SSRI antidepressant change to prevent falls and clinicians should avoid making changes on weekends or during times when unfamiliar staff is present.”

The study links the increased risk of falls to these possible causes:

  • Serious cognitive or motor effects associated with non-SSRI antidepressants that have not yet been fully examined.
  • Postural hypotension, a dramatic decrease in blood pressure upon standing, associated with certain non-SSRIs, such as trazodone.
  • Sedation and coordination problems linked to certain non-SSRIs.

Over one third of the large elderly population in this country currently living in nursing homes are taking some form of antidepressant. These medications can be very helpful to the residents’ quality of life and this study is showing a side effect of the medications. If the patient is already prone to falls or is in a very fragile condition where a fall could be fatal, the nursing home may want to consider an alternative medication option. But most importantly, these patients need to be monitored more closely for two days after changing prescriptions. They need to be given extra care to prevent falls.

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.

Nursing Home Neglect of Medications Leads to Patient Death

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

nursing home neglect in NJ and PAA 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.

Cleft Lip: Speech and Hearing Problems are Possible

Topamax is a highly effective consumer medication used for the treatment of migraines and seizures. Although it is necessary for people to seek relief, it is crucial that all potential side effects are known before taking certain pharmaceutical drugs. Topamax has recently been linked to certain birth defects when taken by women during their pregnancy. Cleft lip and cleft palate are potential birth defects associated with Topamax use, and can be very harmful to newborn babies.

Children may Need Medical Treatment for Speech and Hearing Issues

new jersey philadelphia birth injury attorneys Cleft Lip Speech Hearing ProblemsCleft lips and palates have the potential to harmfully affect the ability of children to hear. A tympanostomy tube is usually inserted into a young child’s eardrum in order to aerate the middle ear. This tube often allows for children to have improved hearing and provides other significant benefits. Babies who suffer from cleft palate may have a number of speech problems. Some speech problems develop directly as a result of anatomical differences due to the birth defect. An example of an anatomical difference that could cause trouble is velopharyngeal inadequacy, which is the inability of the soft palate to shut the opening from the throat to the nasal cavity. Velopharyngeal inadequacy makes it difficult for children to make many speech sounds as the soft palate is integral to this function. These types of errors are somewhat common and can be corrected after palate repair.

In other cases, children with cleft lip and cleft palate may have speech errors which result from an attempt to over compensate for the inability to produce the target phoneme. Known as compensatory articulations, these sounds are usually non-existent in normal English phonology. Palate repair is usually not the answer to solving these sorts of issues and it may worsen the speech, making it even harder to understand. Speech pathology can be very helpful in resolving some problems with speech, and parents should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Cleft Lip Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your child was born with a birth defect, such as cleft lip or cleft palate, it is possible that you have some questions regarding your use of Topamax during pregnancy. Please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Cleft Lip: Severe Migraines Call for Topamax

The Food and Drug Administration has recently shown its concern for patients taking Topamax for severe migraine pain. The widely used drug has shown it may cause birth defects, such as cleft lip and cleft palate, when the medication is used during the first trimester of pregnancy. Migraines can be extremely painful and research has shown that women are more prone to them than men. It is important that pregnant women monitor the types of medications they intake during pregnancy, especially if they are suffering from migraines, to avoid potential harm to their unborn child.

Severe Migraine Symptoms: Leading up to a Headache

new jersey philadelphia birth defects attorneys Cleft Lip cleft palate topamax migrainesMigraines can be detrimental to many people, especially when they strike suddenly. A recent study on headaches had staggering results; more than half of the people surveyed reported that their functionality was cut in half with regards to school and work productivity. Topamax is a popular and effective drug in treating migraines, but it should not be taken by women during pregnancy. Symptoms leading up to a migraine may last up to ten hours. Sudden mood changes may be a sign that a migraine is on the horizon and medication, such as Topamax, may be necessary. Repeated yawning and tiredness are more signals of a future migraine. When on your feet, a lack of balance, stability, and unsteadiness are likely to occur. Finally, an unexpected craving for sweets may seem natural, but also may foreshadow a migraine to come. The exact cause of migraines is not known, but once warning signs begin to arise, it is important that people are prepared. Topamax is a leading medication used to treat migraines, but this may not be the optimal choice for expectant mothers.

Cleft Lip Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If you were recently pregnant and your newborn suffers from a birth defect, it is likely that you may have some questions. If you believe that your use of Topamax during pregnancy may have led to cleft lip or cleft palate in your child, please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

The Secret Relationship of Medical Researchers and Pharmaceutical Companies

Finally, congress is investigating the giant pharmaceutical company’s corrupt research practices.  In the drug business, promoting health and safety should be priority number one.  Unfortunately, it is merely a distant second.  In the pharmaceutical industry, making money supersedes science. Some even go as far as claiming that drug makers have become a billion dollar empire not because of research and science, but rather from slick marketing and deceit.  This claim has some validity since the drug companies spend almost twice as much on the marketing of their drugs then on the development of their drugs.

 Some also argue that many drugs are over-prescribed, and that drug companies’ huge profits are often spent developing and advertising expensive designer drugs (such as Viagra) instead of life-saving medications. But now, even the effectiveness of the drugs is being called in to question by the on going congressional inquiry.  Presently, Congress is learning that the drug makers have paid millions of dollars in cash and other benefits to the very doctors who are supposed to be independently testing these drugs.  Rarely will such a doctor bite the hand that feeds them.  Even more insidious, the drug companies employ thousands of foreign-born chemists who are in the US on a work visa.  Their career allows them and their family the right to live and work in the U.S.  This demands allegiance to their employer and many suspect that end result of their research reflects this allegiance.

Perhaps the most alarming discovery of the investigation however points towards the work of Dr. Joseph Beiderman.  Dr Beiderman, one of the world’s most renowned child psychologists at the Harvard Medical School, apparently failed to report to Harvard University that he had received at least $1.4 million in personal income from drug companies.  It was also found that Dr. Biederman had asked a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary to provide him with almost $1 million to start a research center to, “move forward the commercial goals of J.& J.” As a front-runner in the field of psychology, Biederman was responsible for introducing a new era of using powerful, risky, and expensive antipsychotic medicines in young people. 

Hopefully, the present congressional investigation will lead to reforms for the pharmaceutical industry.  One reform would be to break the financial relationship and dependence of the medical profession to drug makers.  Others would be to hold drug makers accountable in a court of law for false advertising and marketing of drugs that harm patients.  The recent vioxx civil trials, which resulted in huge verdicts against the drug makers, is just one example of how effective this system works.  After a few juries heard the truth about this drug maker, and awarded appropriate damages, the vioxx maker quickly settled all the claims against it.  That result sent a strong message to the drug makers that they will be held accountable for deceit in the pursuit of profits.  Hopefully, congress will enact stricter and further reforms as well.  This will allow all of us to have confidence that the medicine we pay for and use has been fairly and legitimately tested by independent doctors and are benefiting our long term health.