A nursing home worker in Stillwater, Oklahoma was charged after it was discovered she had been taking medicine meant for patients. In one case, Danielle Lee, allegedly took pain meds of a patient with terminal cancer.
According to an article in the Stillwater News Press, “a written affidavit says Lee took syringes of morphine belonging to a patient who was being cared for with terminal cancer while in hospice care. Lee also allegedly took six Norco pills, a painkiller, from another patient at the nursing home.”
Lee was able to do this using a familiar method and one that we’ve seen time and time again here in Florida nursing home abuse cases – the manipulation of automated medication dispensing systems in skilled nursing and other long-term care facilities.
She would take medicine that was intended for a patient, keep it for herself, and then register in the computer system that the medication has been given and all was fine with the patient.
This is a trick that can be used by nursing home staff if they are wanting to use the medications for themselves – or intend to sell it.
Here’s a quick overview of how an automated medication dispensing systems works: An automated dispensing system is conceptually similar to a vending machine: a pharmacy stores bulk drugs in the machine in separate bins or containers, and programs and controls the system remotely. A facility nurse then removes medication from the machines for administration to patients.
Over time, most abusers of the system are caught. Eventually, the patient’s health declines and their is an investigation. Or the information tracked by the dispensing machines is reviewed by a pharmacist or other supervisor and discrepancies are noticed.
Do you have questions about possible abuse or neglect of a loved one who is living in a nursing home? Please call the law offices of Baron & Herskowitz today.
At Baron & Herskowitz, we’ve worked with many victims and their family members who have suffered nursing home abuse, mistreatment and neglect. Examples of this are more common than even we’d like to believe. Our lawyers have heard some awful stories and first hand accounts of the abuse that takes place in Florida nursing homes.
Our goal is to help victims and their families hold individuals and nursing home companies responsible for their actions. If you or someone you know has been a victim of abuse, we’d like to hear your story.