When Medical Staff Steals Patient Medication
Patients in hospitals, nursing home residents, those being treated for addiction, and long-term care facility residents, among others, are all put in situations with medical providers and care facilities where they are vulnerable and must trust those in charge of their care to do their jobs and keep them safe. Unfortunately, being a medical professional does not make one immune from doing bad things, making bad choices, or suffering from addiction. If you or someone you care about believe your medication is being taken or was taken while you were in-patient at a medical facility or under a doctor’s care, learn more about what to do when medical staff steals patient medication.
In addition to stealing patient medications, studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Mayo Clinic also found healthcare workers frequently tamper with medications, leaving them contaminated. One example is taking an injectable medication from a vial via a syringe and refilling it with water to make it appear as if nothing has been removed.
Hospital Staff Stealing Patient Medications
Hospitals have no shortage of prescription medication. However, each medication is reserved for patients who have had it prescribed by their physician. So, what should patients do if a hospital staff member is stealing their prescribed medication?
Because of the types and quantity of medications stored in hospitals, there is a real threat of medication theft. While there are protocols in place to help prevent this, the reality is that staff members steal patient medication. Hospitals are responsible for their staff and when a staff member does something that injures a patient, the facilities themselves and those who work within them can be held legally responsible for the resulting harm.
Patients have a right to a certain standard of medical care; and, as part of that right, they also have the right to have their voices heard by their doctors and other healthcare professionals. If you feel like your medication isn’t helping your condition, don’t be afraid to speak up, ask questions, or seek a second opinion from another nurse or physician. Furthermore, when a staff member steals prescription medications, it isn’t just wrong, it’s illegal. The staff member can face criminal charges for the theft and the hospital that employed them can also be held liable. Cases such as these can be very complicated, but with the help of a Pennsylvania hospital negligence lawyer, victims can seek compensation.
When Nursing Home Staff Steals Medications
Like pharmacies and hospitals, nursing homes contain a wide variety of prescription medications. These medications are intended solely for residents with prescriptions from their doctors, but there are instances in which these medications are stolen from residents. There are a number of reasons a nursing home staff member may steal medications from patients. Prescriptions like opioid painkillers have a high street value and are also highly addictive. Staff members can steal these medications for themselves, for others, or with the intent to sell them illegally.
Nursing home residents rely on the staff to administer their prescribed medications. Staff members can abuse this responsibility by pocketing the pills instead of giving them to residents. Many victims of prescription medication theft do not even know it is happening because they are older and/or suffer from medical conditions that make them especially vulnerable, but the consequences can be severe. Patients have been prescribed medication for a reason. Denying them their medication is wrong and medically dangerous, and any resident being stolen from has a right to seek justice.
What To Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Resident Medication Theft by Staff
If you believe a nursing home staff member is stealing your loved one’s medications, immediately take them to see a doctor not affiliated with the nursing home facility. A doctor will be able to examine them to ensure they have not suffered additional injuries due to not receiving their medications. You will then need to contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer.
These types of claims are very complicated because they can include both criminal and civil charges. Before taking any action, you can learn more about all aspects of this process by consulting with an experienced lawyer confidentially and for free. Speaking out against this type of abuse is incredibly important because chances are that other nursing home residents are also suffering from prescription medication theft.
Protect Your Loved Ones by Calling Lopez McHugh
When you entrust your loved ones to a nursing home, abuse treatment center, long-term care facility, or hospital, you expect they will be well taken care of. When a treatment facility or care provider breaks that trust and you or someone you know suffers an injury or death as the result of a prescription medication error, the experienced medical negligence trial lawyers at Lopez McHugh LLP can help you hold them accountable. There is no upfront cost for working with us. We work on a contingency fee basis so you won’t owe us anything unless we help you obtain compensation. We can explain your legal options and get justice for your damages.