Our Baltimore, Maryland attorneys have been following the recent nursing home news, that a nurse’s assistant at an Illinois nursing home has been charged with aggravated battery for removing medication from a patch on the back of an incapacitated resident—engaging in nursing home abuse for personal drug use.
According to Eugene Lowery, Crystal Lake’s Deputy Police Chief, Jeremiah Healless, a 25-year old certified nurse’s assistant who worked at the Fair Oaks Health Care Center, would enter the room of a 92-year old resident, roll her to one side, and make holes in resident’s fentanyl medication patch with a pin, a drug given to residents who are in ceaseless pain. Healless would then reportedly steal the drug by squeezing the patch, and then licking the drug from his fingers.
The nursing home staff started to suspect that something was amiss when the resident’s patch started to become discolored. After asking the woman’s family for permission, as the resident has mental and physical incapacities, the staff set up a hidden surveillance camera in her room to monitor for nursing home abuse.
Healless was subsequently caught forcing the drug out of the patient’s patch on camera and was immediately fired from his position and arrested. He reportedly made other incriminating statements to the police.
In Maryland and Washington D.C. residents have the legal right to live in a nursing home environment that is filled with quality care that improves and maintain their mental and physical health, and is free from abuse, neglect and criminal acts that could end in personal injury or wrongful death.
Police: Nursing Aide Licked Painkiller from Elderly Patient’s Patch, Chicago Sun-Times, May 19, 2010
Aide Charged with Taking Drug from Crystal Lake Nursing Home Patient, Daily Herald, May 18, 2010
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