Nursing Home Worker Steals Resident’s Pain Patch for Pleasure

According to recent nursing home neglect news that our Charles County, Maryland nursing home attorneys have been following, a worker in a Saint Louis nursing home was found last week to have removed the Fentanyl drug pain patch from an 87-year-old resident, in order to take the drug herself.

Kathleen Lung, the 41-year-old nursing home worker, reportedly took the patch to ingest the pain medication for personal use. Fetanyl is an opioid pain relieving medication, often administered with patches, that as our nursing home abuse attorneys discussed in a recent Baltimore medication error blog is over 100 times stronger than morphine and should only be administered to opioid-tolerant people who have long-term and chronic pain, like cancer patients. The drug reportedly has effects on the body that are similar to heroin.

The other staff members reportedly noticed the removal of the nursing home resident’s patch and quickly replaced it. Lung was charged with criminal abuse and neglect of an elderly person, along with unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Our Maryland nursing home attorneys reported on a similar case of nursing home abuse and neglect recently after a nurse’s assistant was found to have removed medication from a fentanyl medication pain patch on a 92-year-old nursing home resident—also for personal drug use. The nurse’s aide poked holes with a pin in the resident’s fentanyl patch, and reportedly squeezed the drug out of the patch, stealing the drug by licking his fingers.

In Maryland and Washington D.C., residents have the right to live in a nursing home environment that is free from negligence, abuse, and criminal acts that could lead to injury. As required by the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, all residents are entitled to live in a home filled with quality health care and treatment that improves and maintain their physical and mental health. Contact Lebowitz and Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers today.

Authorities: Worker in Bethalto nursing home took patient’s drug patch, St. Louis Today, June 29, 2011

Related Web Resources:

National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)

Maryland Department of Aging

Related Blog Posts:

Prescription Pain Medication Error Due to Alleged Drug Theft, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, February 14, 2011
Nursing Home Aide Steals Drug By Licking Painkiller Patch on Resident’s Back, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, May 27, 2010

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