Nurse's Aide Caught on Camera Stealing Resident's Pain Medication

Following several cases of missing medications from elderly residents of one assisted-living center, managers set up hidden cameras to determine if the drugs were being stolen.  In October 2009, the camera allegedly caught a health care aide working the night shift, as she took the prescription painkiller OxyContin from an 89-year-old woman's medicine box.

It is alleged that the aide replaced the drug with ibuprofen. On Wednesday, federal prosecutors charged the 54-year-old aide with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. In her region, she is the fourth known health care worker, nurse or former nurse named in drug-related charges this year.

The aide reportedly told an investigator with the state Department of Health she did not want to be working night shift, and she had heard that the medication might give her energy. Doctors said it was a dangerous switch because the resident, who has diabetes, must avoid the over-the-counter pain medication because it has been linked to kidney failure. For more, read the story.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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