Yet another report on a caregiver who got caught stealing patients’ pain medication in Minnesota. In this case, according to a December 2nd Star Tribune report, a nurse employed by Volunteers of America of Minnesota stole about 440 Percocet pills from three patients of an assisted-living facility in northeast Minneapolis.
As a result of the theft, at least one patient’s pain was not managed properly because Tylenol was substituted for her prescribed pain medication. According to the report, the nurse sold the narcotics at a bar to get money for a down payment on a second house.
Care facilities and providers have a responsibility to store, administer and dispose of controlled substances appropriately, guarding against abuse while ensuring that patients have medication available when they need it. It’s critical that facilities maintain an awareness of the potential for drug diversion and create a culture that not only encourages reporting but insists on it. For more information about “red flags” that a caregiver may be diverting a resident’s medications for personal use, check out this publication from the University of Wisconsin.
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.