In yet another instance of nursing home drug abuse, a nurse at a North Carolina facility pleaded guilty to the overdose death of one of her patients two years ago. The nurse, Angela Almore, will serve five months in prison for involuntary manslaughter and six counts of felony patient abuse. She will be on probation for another two and a half years after being released from jail and will never be able to work in any health care field or facility again.
According to WRAL news, prosecutors stated that while working at Britthaven of Chapel Hill, Almore gave morphine to at least nine Alzheimer’s patients, telling them they were receiving “liquid vitamins.” Six of the patients who had morphine in their systems were not to receive pain medication under doctor orders. Prosecutors argued Almore drugged her patientsto make them more manageable.
After Rachel Holliday died in February of 2010, the medical examiner determined morphine toxicity was a contributing factor in her nursing home death. Following her death, the facility began monitoring Alzheimer’s patients 24 hours a day, tested all employees for drug use, and put them on leave. The state’s Nursing Home Licensure Section recommended the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid fine the home $20,000 as the facility did not ensure patients were protected against nursing home abuse, unnecessary drugs were prescribed, and significant and serious medication errors occurred.