Medication Taken From Resident at Lyngblomsten Leads to MDH Complaint
In a report dated November 7, 2016, the Minnesota Department of Health alleged that Lyngblomsten Care Center in St. Paul, Minnesota it is alleged that a resident was financially exploited when the alleged perpetrator (AP) took resident’s pain medications.
Substantiated Medication Theft at Lyngblomsten Care Center
Based on a preponderance of the evidence, financial exploitation occurred when the alleged perpetrator (AP) took narcotic pain medications from multiple residents several times.
A physician ordered hydrocodone/acetaminophen (a opioid/narcotic pain medication) 5/323 milligrams (mg) every four hours as needed for the resident’s moderate to severe breakthrough pain. The facility staff administered for the resident’s medications.
At approximately 9:30 p.m., the resident requested prescribed pain medication and nurse went to retrieve the medication from an automated medication dispensing machine. The nurse entered his/her identification and password to retrieve the medication and the dispensing machine indicated it was “too early.” The nurse informed the supervisor, who contacted the pharmacy that services the medication dispensing machine. The pharmacy was able to tell the supervisor the AP had retrieved the pain medication for the resident at 7:12 p.m. The AP was working that evening on another unit and was not assigned to the resident. The supervisor spoke with the AP. The AP did not have a clear explanation.
The video surveillance in the medication room identified the AP entering the room, accessing the machine at 7:12 p.m., and placing the medication envelope in his/her right uniform pocket. A machine report verified the AP was the person who retrieved medication for the resident. The transaction report for the machine indicated the AP had retrieved the resident’s pain medication 73 times over a four month period. The AP had not documented any of the medications were given to the resident on the electronic medication administration record.
The resident was interviewed and stated s/he was having tooth pain that evening and requested the pain medication. The resident was given plain acetaminophen for pain relief.
Additional documentation review and staff interviews were conducted during the investigation. The AP retrieved narcotic pain medication from the medication dispensing machine for six residents from January 2016 to April 2016, retrieving a total of 350 opioid tablets. The AP did not document these tablets as administered to the six residents on the electronic medication administration record. S/he reported s/he had forgotten to document.
The police report indicated the AP admitted to taking one or two Oxycodone HCL (another opioid narcotic) 5 mg tablets from residents during five separate incidents over a four month period of time. In addition, the police searched the AP’s purse and found six opioid tablets that the AP admitted belonged to other residents in the facility. The case was forwarded to the county attorney for charges.
During an interview, the AP reported s/he had been taken one or two Oxycodone HCL 5 mg tablets from a resident during five separate incidents over a four month period. The AP stated s/he did not give medication to the resident on the evening of the incident. The AP indicated the tablets, found by the police in his/her purse, did not come from the facility.
After video surveillance confirmed the AP’s conduct, s/he was terminated from the facility.
For more information from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Health Facility Complaints concerning nursing homes, assisted living and other elder care providers view resolved complaints at the MDH website.
If you have concerns about medication errors, drug version / medication theft or any other form of elder abuse or neglect contact Minnesota Elder Abuse Attorney Kenneth LaBore at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.