A Minnesota nursing home has been cited by the state’s Department of Health after investigators determined that staff at the facility failed to provide prescription medication to a patient who was admitted to the facility for short-term rehabilitation.
The investigation was triggered in response to a complaint following the stroke-related death of an elderly woman who was admitted to Lakeshore, Inc. for short-term rehabilitation. The woman was admitted to the nursing home in order to gain enough strength so she could return back to the assisted living facility where she lived.
Despite the fact that that the facility knew the woman had a history of strokes and was prescribed Coumadin for approximately 10 years prior, staff at Lakeshore never administered the Coumadin, nor did they administer the necessary blood tests to test the drugs effectiveness.
Health Department officials elected to cite the nursing home for failing to provide the necessary medication, but elected not to impose any fines primarily because the facility voluntarily changed its policies regarding administration of prescriptions prior to any strong-arming on the part of the state.
Situations such as this provide a reminder of the importance of reporting suspected errors to the Department of Health following a suspicious event. In this case, officials were able to examine the patients medical chart and determine where the facility went awry. While it may disappoint some that no fine was imposed, the fact that this incident was made public should hopefully provide enough motivation for the facility to change its ways.
Medication Errors, Nursing Home Injury Laws
Fixed Minidose Warfarin and Aspirin Alone and in Combination vs Adjusted-Dose Warfarin for Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation (PDF) by Annette Lemche Gulløv, MD; Birgitte Gade Koefoed, MD; Palle Petersen, MD, DMSc; Trine Sander Pedersen, MD; Ellen Damgaard Andersen, MD; John Godtfredsen, MD, DMSc; Gudrun Boysen, MD, DMSc, Archives of Internal Medicine
Blood Thinning Medications, Such As Coumadin, Pose Substantial Danger To Nursing Home Patients Involved In Falls Nursing Homes Abuse Blog, November 30, 2009