Nursing Home Medication Error Linked to Patient's Death

In January 2010, a resident at a nursing home did not receive her newly prescribed medication, an error the state claims lead to her death. The findings by the state Health Department, released this week, determined that the facility provided "inadequate medication administration."

According to the investigation report, the woman entered the nursing home on Jan. 14, 2010, with diagnoses of congestive heart failure and low potassium. Her doctor's orders that day called for her to receive six-tablets of potassium a day. In all, the woman missed 26 two-tablet doses over more than eight days.

She was sent to the emergency room on Jan. 23 where she suffered a severely abnormal heart rhythm and died early that afternoon. Her potassium level was extremely low when tested in the emergency room. The investigation attributed the medication errors, which were not detected until after the woman died. 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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