Published on:

Nurse Faces Murder Charges After Patient Dies From Morphine Overdose At A Britthaven Facility

Picture-612Perhaps someone should have advised Angela Almore, a nurse at Britthaven in Chapel Hill, NC, that physicians are the only ones capable of prescribing prescription medications for patients.

Seemingly taking the practice of medicine into her own hands when she administered Morphine to patients who should not be taking it; Ms. Almore now faces one count of second-degree murder and six counts of felony-patient-abuse after the death of one patient and the hospitalization of six others she was responsible for caring for in the Alzheimer’s unit at the facility.

An investigation into the incident by the Nursing Home Licensure Section revealed that in addition to the errors made by Ms. Almore, the Britthaven facility  was also negligent for failing to take the necessary steps to ensure that its patients were protected from abuse.

As a result of the facilities errors, state regulators have requested that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaide Services (CMS) impose a $20,000 fine against the facility. 

Medication Overdoses Amongst Nursing Home Patients:

Medication errors, such as overdoses are a common problem in nursing homes– particularly amongst disabled patients who do not have the ability to confirm the types or dosages of medications they may be taking.  Unfortunately, aside from lacking the ability to confirm or deny the medications they are to be taking, disabled patients are especially fragile when it comes to potential side effects from the drugs.

Opiates, such as Morphine can be especially dangerous in frail people or those who may be taking other medications that may essentially make the medications more potent than they may be on their own.  In some situations, the ingestion of high dosages of morphine can essentially shut down the bodies central nervous system making the body forget basic functions such as breathing.

If you believe your loved one was give an overdose of Morphine, it is important to seek medical attention immediately by contacting 911 or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Related:

Morphine Overdose: Medline Plus

Opioids and the management of chronic severe pain in the elderly: consensus statement of an International Expert Panel with focus on the six clinically most often used World Health Organization Step III opioids (buprenorphine, fentanyl, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone) Pergolizzi J, Böger RH, Budd K, Dahan A, Erdine S, Hans G, Kress HG, Langford R, Likar R, Raffa RB, Sacerdote P.

Nursing Home Faces Fines For Medication Violations WCHL News, August 11, 2010

Lawsuit Filed Against Nurse Who Intentionally Gave Too Much Morphine

Morphine Intoxication Of Nursing Home Patient Results In Significant Jury Verdict

Published on:
Updated:
  • I think health care providers needs a little reminder on the crime of malpractice.
    Whatever intention you have, you need to be careful in doing something especially in health care profession as it deals with life.

  • Chris

    We’ve legitimised this in the UK with the Liverpool Care Pathway….recommends prn morphine for 5 symptoms, 4 of which are ….the symptoms of opiod toxicity!   Its a killer!   Just like the Nazis!   

Client Reviews

  • Having worked in the medical field, I appreciated the way that Mr. Rosenfeld and his staff approached my family’s situation. The combination of medical knowledge and legal expertise was indeed the winning combination for our case.
    ★★★★★
  • While nothing can change the way our mother was treated at a nursing facility, I do feel a sense of vindication that the facility was forced to pay for their treatment. I am certain that they would never have done had my attorneys not held their feet to the fire.
    ★★★★★
  • I was very nervous about initiating a claim against my mother’s nursing facility, but Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers took care of everything from getting the medical records to going to court. I felt like I had real advocates on my side. That meant a lot to me.
    ★★★★★
  • After a horrific episode at a nursing home, my sister and I spoke to a number of law firms. No one took the time to answer our questions and explain the legal process like Mr. Rosenfeld. He did a tremendous job on our case and I can see why he’s earned the praise he has from clients and peers.
    ★★★★★
  • I liked the fact that I could call the office and ask questions about the legal process at anytime. I could tell that my case was in good hands. I think that this was reflected in my father’s settlement was more than I anticipated the case ever being worth.
    ★★★★★