Some Patients in Care Facilities Are Missing Medications
Missing Medications, one of the key responsibilities of nursing home and assisted living staff is to ensure that residents get their medication on time. Such a medication error can result in serious consequences for the resident, which can ultimately lead to a negative outcome for the employee and the facility.
In one case, a Minneapolis resident was not given a key seizure medication for ten days. The end result was a 15-minute seizure that ultimately led to the resident’s death, according to a state investigation. The facility’s staff was cited for failing to restock the prescription.
The March death is being blamed on the facility for not adequately supervising their staff to make sure patient medications were available, according to a Health Department report.
Facilities Must Track and Avoid Missing Medications
The medication that was not restocked had been keeping the resident from having seizures. Because of the medication, the resident had not had a seizure in several years before the twice-a-day prescription was missed a total of 19 times over the 10-day period.
According to the patient’s death certificate, the seizure caused respiratory failure.
The patient was not identified in the report, which described them as suffering from multiple sclerosis, a seizure disorder, and a need for assistance with medication because the patient had cognitive difficulties.
The facility said that the findings are not going to be appealed and that some staff members have been disciplined and those not involved in the medication error have been retrained to ensure that such an error does not happen again.
It was found that the same patient had missed three days of their medication in December 2013 in addition to a drug that they were not given for all of January for a urinary tract infection.
The report also found that another patient had missed doses of ulcer and hypertension medication late in 2013 and early in 2014 because the drugs were not restocked.
This is the second time in an almost two year period that the facility has been found to be responsible for serious medication errors. In 2012, a resident was found pale, gray, and dazed on the floor of his room after the staff incorrectly set up his medications. State investigators found that two of the drugs prescribed to the patient had not been administered. Those two drugs were an antihistamine and a pain reliever and he had not received them in three days. It was on the fourth day that he was transported to the hospital and declared to have an altered mental status.
The Department of Health has cited the operators for allowing an unlicensed staffer without proper training to schedule the medications for that particular resident.
The facility, a nonprofit, operates multiple residential facilities throughout the Twin Cities and Minnesota, as well as in over two dozen other states for adults and seniors needing assistance around the clock.
There were three licensing orders levied against the facility for the death that occurred in March, but an April follow-up found that the necessary corrections had been made.
Report Missing Medications to State
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 or any other form of elder abuse or neglect contact Minnesota Elder Abuse Attorney Kenneth LaBore toll free at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.