Minnesota Nursing Home Resident Overdoses – Facility Charged With Neglect

The Owatonna Care Center in Owatonna, Minnesota has recently been charged with neglect following the death of a resident who was mistakenly given too much medication.  This incident occurred during the summer months when the resident was given 10 milligrams of an anti-anxiety medication by an employee; the physician had ordered only 1 milligram.

The facility did not realize their mistake until two days later.  The resident, 84-year-old Herbert Drescher, died the day following the overdose, and the error was not realized until the next day, when the medication was brought to the nursing director to be destroyed.

The complaint filed against the nursing home states that the proper dosage (1 milligram, 3 times per day) was not given for 10 days prior to the resident’s death.  After being deprived of his medication, Drescher was given 10 times the amount of the drug, which a doctor involved in the case believed played a role in his death, which was officially attributed to chronic lung disease.

It was not known at the time of news reports whether any employees of Owatonna Care Center had been terminated as a result of the case.  As investigations continue, The Minnesota Department of Health has not determined with certainty that the medication overdose caused the death of the patient, but believe that it could have been a factor.

A report by the state Health Department brought this case to light at a time when concern regarding medication errors at other long-term care facilities in Minnesota has been in the limelight.  According to the FDA, overdoses of Ativan (lorazepam), which the resident was taking, can lead to coma and eventually death in rare circumstances.  State investigators found that other drugs were missing at Owatonna Care Center, and that those missing drugs could not be accounted for by staff members.

This is a classic example of nursing home abuse and neglect, as employees often do not take the time to look closely at the medications they are giving residents or to question those doses to ensure they are correct.  Not giving a resident his medication for 10 days is unacceptable.

Owatonna was cited for one state violation and two federal rule violations.  On an October 14th follow-up visit by investigators, the nursing home had completed promised changes in how medications are tracked and administration of those medicines overseen.  All nurses and medication aides were retrained.

Denying residents their medication or administering more than the prescribed dosage are both forms of nursing home neglect.  If you suspect that your loved one is being neglected in a nursing home, contact the Missouri nursing home abuse lawyers at the O’Connor Law Firm today. Learn about the Missouri Injury Lawyers at Brown Chiari by visiting our website today.

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