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Nurse accused of giving morphine instead of muscle relaxant indicted

A nurse in New York is accused of administering morphine instead of a muscle relaxant to a nursing home patient with spina bifida in February 2012, and earlier this month she was indicted of felony charges, according to Newsday.

Officials say Vicki Price, formerly of Bayview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, tried to cover up her mistake, which left her patient unconscious, by falsifying documents, according to Newsday.

The Bayview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is now known as South Point Plaza Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.  Medicare has rated this 185-bed for-profit nursing home as “Much Below Average” (the worst rating possible) for its health inspections and staffing of the facility. Some of the deficiencies cited by Medicare include the nursing home’s:

  • Failure to provide necessary care and services to maintain the highest well being of each resident.
  • Failure to 1) make sure that each resident’s drug regimen is free from unnecessary drugs; 2) each resident’s entire drug/medication is managed and monitored to achieve highest well being.
  • Failure to safely provide drugs and other similar products available, which are needed every day and in emergencies, by a licensed pharmacist.

Price now faces second-degree endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person charges, as well as one count of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person and falsifying business records in the first degree, according to Newsday.

As a result of the incident, the patient, 46, was hospitalized for five days after receiving anti-overdose medication, according to Newsday.

Price was fired, the nursing home said, pleaded not guilty and will return to court in October. Endangering a nursing home patient could land her a sentence of up to four years in prison, according to Newsday.

Authorities championed the importance of caring for those most in need of it.

“New York’s health care professionals take an oath to care for their patients,” state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told Newsday in a press release. “That care is their first duty.”

“Our most vulnerable patients deserve our care, and my office will pursue justice when our basic tenets of care are not met,” he continued.  “This is one set of rules for all caregivers, and those rules must be enforced.”

Unfortunately, medication errors like this occur far too often and are allowed to happen in nursing homes throughout the country. The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care, including medication abuse and errors.

To learn more about a recent case filed by the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm in which the nursing home wrongly administered narcotics to a patient resulting in an overdose, click here.

If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.