Marlene Watson, a licensed practical nurse at the Sarah Neuman Nursing Home in Mamaroneck, New York admitted in July of 2001 to giving a 90-year-old patient double the amount of Xanax, a controlled substance, prescribed to him by his doctor. The incident occurred in May 2000.
Then 29 years old, Watson, who worked at the Mamaroneck nursing home for five months, pled guilty to Willful Violation of Health Laws and was sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge.
According to then Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the patient did not experience any adverse reactions as a result of the overdose. An overdose of a controlled substance can have severe consequences including seizures, heart attack, stroke and even death. Luckily, this resident did not have any problems after the medication error. The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit began investigating the incident after receiving information from the State Department of Health. Staff and administration officials from the nursing home cooperated with the investigation.
Spitzer remarked, “We have no tolerance for those who do not provide appropriate care to our most vulnerable citizens. This conviction sends a clear message to all health care workers that my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit will aggressively prosecute those who mistreat patients entrusted to their care.”
Website Resource: New York State Attorney General, Press Releases.