A state government report in Minnesota revealed that drug theft by health care workers is so common there, it accounts for 20 percent of all abuse cases involving elderly patients.
The state department of health conducts regular analysis on exploitation and abuse of vulnerable, elderly residents, but this is the first time officials conducted a simultaneous analysis of so-called drug diversion incidents. From June 2013 to June 2014, researchers tallied 192 allegations of nursing home drug theft. Of those, there was proof to substantiate 27 of those incidents allegedly carried out by 14 staffers.
In a large percentage of cases, workers in nursing homes swapped over-the-counter pills for patients’ Vicodin or oxycodone. In another incident, a worker who was off-duty one day entered the facility, went to a patient’s room, lifted the bed sheet and peeled off the patient’s pain medicine patch right from his back before leaving the facility. That incident was later reported to police. Continue reading →