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Efforts to curb antipsychotic drug use rejected

Category Archives:
Medication Errors

Medication Errors

Efforts to curb antipsychotic drug use rejected

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

June 26, 2012

The state of Massachusetts was very close to taking a big step in mending their nursing home drug problem, but the movement didn’t receive an important federal grant.

A recent Boston Globe report stated 28 percent of Massachusetts nursing homes use antipsychotic drugs inappropriately, a number that is well above the national average.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School’s proposal called for “nursing home staff [to be] trained on alternative methods of managing difficult behaviors by residents, particularly those with dementia, instead of relying on antipsychotic drugs to calm them.”

Unfortunately, the group found out Friday that they will not receive the federal funding for the project from Medicare/Medicaid, per a report from Boston.com.

The manager of business development for the group said other funding will be pursued.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by mismedication at a care facility, contact the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm online or call us toll free at (877) 552-2873 for a free initial consultation.

TOPICS:   Medication Errors

Nursing home employee stole painkillers

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

June 22, 2012

The Rockford Register Star reports a former employee at Caseyville Nursing Home in southwest Illinois faces up to 10 years in prison after she admitted to using painkillers meant for residents of the home.

Diana Van Etten, 34, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis last Wednesday to health care fraud charges.

The authorities say Van Etten was a nurse at the home when she signed out hydrocodone for residents under her care. Instead of giving the residents the drugs, she consumed them.

Her addiction led to 11 false claims for fraudulent prescriptions. Van Etten’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for early October.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by mismedication at a care facility, contact the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm online or call us toll free at (877) 552-2873 for a free initial consultation.

TOPICS:   Medication Errors

Medication error leads to life support

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

June 11, 2012

Augustana HCC of Minneapolis provided an elderly resident with three Fentanyl drug patches, a questionable decision that left her with chest pain and respiratory difficulty.

The nursing home’s mistake came after a physician recommended that narcotic pain medications not be ordered for the resident in question. Furthermore, staff was expected to remove old patches before placing a new one on the skin.

The unfortunate decisions made by the nursing home resulted in an eight-day stay for the resident at the hospital, during which she was itubated and placed on life support.

According to a report from the Minnesota Department of Health, no staff members were specifically identified as responsible for the error.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by mismedication at a care facility, contact the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm online or call us toll free at (877) 552-2873 for a free initial consultation.

Nurse charged with death of resident pleads guilty

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

June 5, 2012

Registered nurse Angela Almore pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and patient abuse yesterday.

Her crime? Giving morphine to residents who were not prescribed the drug.

Almore was involved in at least six different patient injuries from February 2010 until she was charged. She was sentenced to five months in prison and 30 months of probation.

According to North Carolina’s News Observer, Britthaven, Almore’s former employer, currently faces at least two other civil suits from families who say nursing-home workers abused patients.

A report by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services states that Britthaven failed to ensure that 14 or 29 patients in its Alzheimer’s unit were free from caretaker abuse and other threats to their health.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by mismedication at a care facility, contact the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm online or call us toll free at (877) 552-2873 for a free initial consultation.

More activity against the misuse of antipsychotic drugs

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

June 4, 2012

Last week, we reported that homes across the nation are being told to curb their misuse of antipsychotic drugs.

U.S. News has more to add on the topic, including some specific ways in which the problem can be solved.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are launching the Partnership to Improve Dementia Care, which will include federal and state officials, nursing homes, advocacy groups and caregivers.

The goal of the program, according to CMS deputy chief medical officer Shari Ling, is to “protect patients from unnecessary drug use.”

The new initiative includes:

-Training that emphasizes high-quality care for nursing home patients.

-Making data on antipsychotic drug use at nursing homes.

-Suggesting alternatives to antipsychotics such as exercise, outdoor time, pain management and planned activities for parents.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by mismedication at a care facility, contact the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm online or call us toll free at (877) 552-2873 for a free initial consultation.

TOPICS:   Medication Errors

Minnesota has prescription drug problem in nursing homes

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

May 29, 2012

Cook County North Shore Hospital and Care Center recently fired a 20-year-old worker for felony theft charges.

What did she take? Prescription drugs from elderly residents at the facility.

The drugs in question were fentanyl patches, which the worker stole from at least two residents. She initially took them from the trash, but moved on to stealing from the patients themselves.

This has become a large problem in the state of Minnesota over the last few years. According to the Duluth News Tribune, the state Department of Health recently announced a “road map” and “tool kit” designed to “improve health care providers’ controlled substance storage and security.”

The Tribune says that the road map “is a collection of about 100 best practices for preventing and responding to prescription drug thefts,” including things like camera surveillance in high-risk areas and using bar codes for tracking.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by mismedication at a care facility, contact the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm online or call us toll free at (877) 552-2873 for a free initial consultation.

TOPICS:   Medication Errors

Nurses falsify reports, endanger residents

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

May 29, 2012

The Duluth News Tribune reports two nurses are no longer employed at Cook Nursing Home in Duluth after falsifying insulin reports.

After failing to conduct blood sugar tests on seven residents, the nurses simply made up numbers and wrote them down in a report. At least two of the residents received the wrong amount of insulin last year, according to health department special investigator Christine Bodick-Nord.

Disciplinary action from the state Board of Nursing is possible, but nothing will be made public until the review is complete.

The Cook Hospital administrator agrees that the nurses made a big mistake. “This is not a profession where you can give 75 percent,” he said, “You’ve got to give 100 percent.”

There’s no room for careless management of medications in a skilled nursing facility.  If a nursing home has exposed your loved one to a medication error, contact the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm online or toll free at (877) 552-2873 for a free initial consultation.

TOPICS:   Medication Errors

U.S. Senators join fight against misuse of antipsychotic drugs

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

May 23, 2012

Three United States Senators are now officially trying to fight the misuse of antipsychotic drugs in nursing facilities across the country.

Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) filed an amendment yesterday “seeking to combat the costly, widespread and inappropriate use of antipsychotics in nursing homes.”

According to Senator Chuck Grassley’s website, “numerous studies conducted during the last decade have concluded that these medications can be harmful when used by frail elders with dementia who do not have a diagnosis of serious mental illness. In fact, the FDA issued two ‘black box’ warnings citing increased risk of death when these drugs are used to treat elderly patients with dementia.”

The senators’ amendment “calls for a new prescriber education program to promote high-quality, evidence-based treatments, including non-pharmacological interventions.”

There’s no room for careless management of medications in a skilled nursing facility.  If a nursing home has exposed your loved one to a medication error, contact the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm online or toll free at (877) 552-2873 for a free initial consultation.

TOPICS:   Medication Errors

Medication errors lead to resident’s death

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

April 17, 2012

The Star Tribune reports that Red Wing Health Center faces new charges related to a resident’s pneumonia death in September.

A new report from the Minnesota Department of Health states, “the policies and procedures did not provide an effective system” at the RWHC. The resident in question did not receive one of her drugs for three days, and another prescription altogether after the nursing staff made clerical errors.

Soon after the medication errors, the resident was “found to be pulseless” and died the same day. According to the Star Tribune, “the home has since retrained staff on medical transcription procedures and taken other actions.”

There’s no room for careless management of medications in a skilled nursing facility.  If a nursing home has exposed your loved one to a medication error, contact the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm online or toll free at (877) 552-2873 for a free initial consultation.

TOPICS:   Medication Errors

New Guide Helps You Select the Right Nursing Home

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

March 22, 2012

We know it’s tough to find a nursing home that fully accommodates you or your loved one. If you are willing to spend the time, however, there is no reason to settle for a home that is not the right fit.

The folks at The Detroit Free Press recently released a checklist entitled “How to pick a nursing home: Questions to ask and scoring.” The guide has several personalized categories, and at the very least helps you think about potential issues with a new facility. It covers everything from food to pets, and provides you with a way to distinguish nursing homes that are to your liking.

For the full printable form, click here.

At Kosieradski-Smith, we understand how important it is to find a good nursing home or facility. If you or a loved one is in a home that you carefully selected, the risks of maltreatment and poor living standards goes down.

Take action if a care facility has caused injury to your loved one due to its negligence.  For a free initial consultation, contact the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm online or toll free at (877) 552-2873 today.

TOPICS:   Medication Errors