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Improper medication blamed on nursing home patient's death

Part of the responsibility of a nursing home in Queens is to make sure that their residents receive the right kind of medication and the correct dose of that medication. Improper medication given to patients can cause severe problems and some have even died from the errors made. Patients have suffered from additional health issues due to such nursing home negligence and the tragic thing is that in some cases the overmedication is deliberate.

In 2011, hospital staff was likely surprised to find that an 82-year-old man had abnormal levels of the blood thinner drug, Coumadin, in his system. The man had been brought to the hospital four days after falling from a wheel chair at the nursing home he had been in since 2006. Apparently, there was no viable reason why the man should have had so much Coumadin in him and it soon became apparent that the man was overmedicated.

It is unknown if the administering of high amounts of the blood thinner caused the fall, but it doubtless contributed to the problems the man was diagnosed with, which may have led to his death a short time later. Now the nursing home has been given a $100,000 fine for the overmedication issue as well as a citation.

There was no indication whether the family of the victim was intending to pursue legal action against the nursing home but the findings of the investigation by state regulators could certainly open the path to an official lawsuit. Hopefully the nursing home has reevaluated their medication procedures to ensure that this will not happen to someone else. If a Queens resident has lost someone due to nursing home neglect, it might be a good idea to talk with a legal professional.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Lincoln nursing home cited, fined for overmedicating patient," Anita Creamer, March 23, 2013

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