A resident of a Minnesota nursing home was given ten-times the ordered dose of morphine by a nursing home employee, leading to the resident’s death within one hour and forty five minutes after receiving the deadly dose. The nurse who had administered the wrong dose of morphine allegedly had questioned another nurse regarding the dosage but was assured that the dosage matched what was stated in the resident’s medication administration record.
A state investigation report completed by the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Health Facility Complaints dated February 1, 2016 and released to the public on April 5, 2016 cited the nursing home with neglect for failing to transcribe the resident’s medication order correctly, finding that the Minnesota nursing home had “failed to have adequate policies in place to ensure medications were transcribed accurately and then administered correctly.”
The resident had a severe cognitive impairment and was suffering from chronic kidney disease when he was transferred to hospice care at the Minnesota nursing home the day before the fatal medication error. At the time of the resident’s admission to the nursing home, his physician ordered Morphine Sulfate 2.5 mg (0.125 ml) to be administered by syringe placed against the inside of his check, every hour as needed. The physician’s medication order was incorrectly transcribed onto the resident’s medication administration record as 0.25 ml instead of the correct dosage of 0.125 ml.
The following day, the resident’s physician added an additional medication order for Morphine Sulfate 5 mg every four hours, in addition to the prior order for Morphine Sulfate. The new medication order was incorrectly transcribed onto the resident’s medication administration record as 2.5 ml oral every four hours, which was 50 mg (ten-times the prescribed dose of morphine).
About fifteen minutes after the deadly dose of morphine was administered, the medication mistake was detected after the transcribing nurse was contacted. The nursing home staff obtained the family’s consent to administer Narcan, which was obtained from the hospital that is attached to the nursing home, to block the effects of the morphine overdose. By that time, the resident’s breathing had decreased to two breaths per minute. The family requested that a second dose of Narcan be administered but the man died before the Narcan could be obtained from the hospital.
The nursing home resident’s primary care physician stated that the large dose of Morphine Sulfate would have contributed to the resident’s death.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in Minnesota or in another U.S. state due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, or nursing home abuse, you should promptly find a local nursing home claim lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate your possible nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf, if appropriate.
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