MyFox Boston is reporting that a 37-year-old former nursing home worker has been arrested following the death of a nursing home resident who was improperly being injected with insulin.
For most people, the term insulin has gained a reputation as a benign treatment. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. It regulates blood sugar. When the first insulin injection was administered in 1922, I doubt insulin abuse was one of their concerns.
For diabetics, it is a life saving drug. However, the overdose of insulin, or a normal dosage given to a non-diabetic, can be extremely dangerous or even fatal. In fact, the overdose of insulin will cause blood-sugar levels to plummet. This can lead to symptoms like seizures, loss of speech, confusion, and coma.
Why the detail? Because the actions of the nurse in question are, on one hand, diabolical. On the other hand, they are moronic. Without delving into the defendant’s psyche, it’s impossible to know exactly what was going on in her head.
According to police, the worker injected a patient who was not a diabetic. The woman fell into a coma. Afterwards, the worker stole her credit cards and began making purchases. A woman in a nursing home exhibiting symptoms that include speech problems and confusion is almost certainly going to be assumed to be suffering from some type of Alzheimer’s disease. Because Alzheimer’s disease is a disease of the brain, it can be difficult to diagnose. There is no blood culture or special diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s. For the same reason, it’s very difficult to rule out.
She was caught because she continued using the credit cards even after the victim had died. Whether the initial injection was an error or a deliberate attempt to incapacitate and murder the victim will be a matter for a jury. In the meantime, the nursing home in question needs to determine how it was possible for a worker to have access to dangerous drugs, and how the accident (if that’s what it was) wasn’t discovered.
If you have a loved one in an Illinois nursing home and you feel that they have been injured by improperly administered medications, you can contact my law offices for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.
Barry G. Doyle is a personal injury lawyer in Chicago and the founder of the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, an Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect law firm dedicated to representing nursing home residents and their families.. If you or a loved one has been killed, injured or suffered neglect in a nursing home in Skokie, please order your free copy of A Family’s Guide to Nursing Home Lawsuits in Illinois. It’s full of helpful information that will help you protect your legal rights and is free to all Illinois residents.