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Nursing Home Fined After Residents Test Positive for Cocaine

 Posted on September 26, 2019 in Nursing Home Abuse

Illinois nursing home abuse attorneyIt is not uncommon for workers in certain professions, unfortunately, to develop drug habits. Those who work long hours under immense stress—such as line cooks and truck drivers—may turn to illicit substances such as amphetamines and cocaine to give them the “boost” they need. Sadly, workers in the field of health care are not immune to such issues. In fact, according to the Journal of Clinical Nursing, nearly one in five nurses struggle with an addiction to alcohol or drugs.

In any nursing home, therefore, there is likely to be at least one or two staff members who use or abuse illegal drugs. Unfortunately, however, illicit drug use is not always limited to staff members, and nursing home in Connecticut was recently fined after several residents were found to cocaine in their systems.  

A Pattern of Problems

Earlier this week, news outlets reported that the Connecticut Department of Public Health had issued a fine to a skilled nursing facility in New Haven over several incidents between April 30 and May 18, 2018. According to the reports, at least four of the home’s residents tested positive for cocaine.

The first positive test came after a resident was seen handing another resident a dollar bill with white powder on it. As a result of the test, a physician issued an order for a number of interventions, including daily room searches for three consecutive days. The report indicates that staff members only conducted two of the ordered searches.

The resident who took the dollar bill also tested positive for cocaine. Similar searches were ordered for three days, but they only occurred on two of the days.

About 10 days later, a third resident was discovered on the floor of the facility with a large hematoma. The resident was unresponsive for about two minutes and subsequently tested positive for opiates and cocaine.

Eight days after that, the nursing home received a call from a nearby methadone clinic stating that a fourth resident had tested positive for cocaine. The patient claimed that the cocaine came from another patient, who had obtained it from a nurse aide at the facility. Reports indicate that the nurse aid was terminated.

No serious injuries or adverse health effects were reported.

The Dangers of Illegal Drugs in Nursing Homes

In this particular case, the residents were extremely fortunate to have avoided serious health problems as a result of their drug use. While some nursing home residents may try to find ways around the rules, it is the responsibility of the home’s staff to prevent residents from getting and using illegal drugs. Nursing home residents are often on carefully calibrated medication regimens, which could easily be upset by the addition of street drugs—not to mention the “regular” dangers of illicit substances. If the drugs are being provided by staff members, as was the case in Connecticut, the facility may have even more direct liability for any injuries that result.

Contact an Illinois Nursing Home Injury Attorney

If you have a loved one in a nursing home who has been given cocaine, heroin, or any other illegal drugs by a staff member, contact an experienced Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer right away. The skilled team at Schwartz Injury Law will work with you in exploring your options for taking legal action. Call 312-535-4625 for a free consultation today.



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