Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Nursing home resident dies after given wrong medication

A lawsuit has been filed in Beaver County Court concerning the death of a 40-year old man in a nursing home. The deceased man was described as a "severely mentally disabled" individual that was in need of an in-patient facility to which he was involuntarily committed.

As has been contended in the complaint for this wrongful death lawsuit, the patient suffered from sleep apnea requiring a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, but no machine was available at the facility. However, on the very day that he was admitted, the patient was given prescription drugs by a nurse - the drugs that were meant to be taken by another patient.

Unfortunately, the drugs apparently suppressed the patient's central nervous system compromising his ability to breathe. As no medical assistance was reportedly provided for the patient, he was later found dead by the nursing home staff.

There are also allegations that the nursing home attempted to cover up what occurred. It is claimed that nurses, realizing that the wrong medication had been administered, called their supervisor about what happened. Supposedly, the supervisor informed the nurses not to inform anyone else as to what went on, and to confine information only to those working that particular shift.

Whether the allegations are true will likely be up to a jury to determine. Attorneys will have to examine witnesses on the stand to discover exactly what did occur, and to allow jury members to decide which side is credible.

If what is asserted is true, the nursing home will likely find itself on the wrong end of a substantial jury verdict. Nursing home facilities are there for the safety and well being of its residents, and individuals should not die at these facilities because of medication mix ups.

Source: Times Online, "Nursing home, nurses sued for wrongful death," by Kristen Doerschner, Oct. 23, 2012

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