Like many nursing home patients, Milton Aucoin was a sick man who was reliant on a nursing home to attend to medical needs. In particular, he needed the nursing home staff to properly administer necessary medications that were prescribed by his physicians.
As part of his rehabilitation from a stroke, Mr. Aucoin was to receive blood thinning medications to prevent another episode.
Despite physicians’ orders for blood thinners and other necessary medications, a news report concerning a recently filed wrongful death lawsuit alleges that the staff at Chateau De Notre Dame (Louisiana nursing home) ignored the orders by withholding the medications for two days following his initial admission. As a result of the lack of proper medication, Mr. Aucoin suffered a subsequent stroke which contributed to his death.
Apparently medication errors were not a new issue for Chateau De Notre Dame as the facility had been cited by surveyors from the Department of Health and Human Services found higher than average medication error rates at the facility over an extended period.
Despite their reputation as facilities that care for the elderly on a long-term basis, nursing homes are medical facilities that provide skilled nursing for patients with both long-term and acute care needs. Regardless of the underlying reason for admission, nursing homes have a responsibility to follow the orders of the patients attending physicians.
A medication plan remains one of the most primary responsibilities that skilled nursing facilities are responsible for complying with. In addition to providing patients with the specific medications (and dosage), facilities must comply with the schedule for each medication. Unfortunately, when the accurate administration of medications is not made a priority we can see the devastating results.
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