A 68-year-old resident of the Fairmont Care Centre in Chicago, Illinois was rushed to an emergency room after he vomited blood and his nose began bleeding uncontrollably. The hospital determined that a medication error involving the blood-thinning drug Coumadin was to blame for the Fairmont Care Centre resident’s condition.
The resident was admitted to the facility after a fall that resulted in a fractured arm. The resident was prescribed Coumadin to prevent potential blood clots, a strategy that met with initial success. A blood test administered the following week was forwarded to the resident’s physician along with complaints regarding pain.
The doctor immediately suspended the Coumadin and conducted another blood test the following week. The order was noted in the Fairmont Care Centre records.
Nursing home inspectors from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) examined the nursing home medication records following the emergency room trip and found that the medication was not halted indefinitely per the doctor’s orders. Instead, after three days, the Coumadin was restarted, and given to the resident every day until the near-fatal incident occurred.
Medication errors are extremely dangerous examples of nursing home neglect. Only a licensed nurse is authorized to distribute any medications in a nursing home or skilled care facility.
Before administering any medication, the nurse is supposed to perform a series of checks to make certain that the correct resident is receiving the correct medication.
1 .Is this the right patient?
2. Is this the right medication?
3. Is this the right dosage?
4. Is this the right means (i.e., pill, liquid, etc.)?
5. Is this the right time?
Clearly, the nurse responsible for administering medications was failing to follow their duty. The IDPH inspectors were unable to interview the nurse who administered the Coumadin. According to Fairmont Care Centre administrators, the nurse no longer works at the facility.
It’s not unusual for a nursing home to terminate employees who are involved in incidents of nursing home neglect.
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