Group Home for Adults With Disabilities Fined $10,000 Over Resident’s Drug-Related Death
The October 2022 death of a female resident of the Flora Adult Group Home in Dubuque, Iowa has led to a $10,000 fine from the state. This is the largest fine that can be levied against a residential care facility that is licensed by the state.
Flora Adult Group Home is a group home for adults with disabilities. The victim died only four weeks after being admitted to the facility.
The day before the resident died, on October 29th, 2022, at about 5 p.m., the registered nurse found the victim lying on the floor next to her bed. The resident said she was falling.
The resident went over to her bed and threw herself onto the mattress multiple times. The resident requested help and asked about being taken to the hospital. However, the resident could not explain what the problem was.
The registered nurse called the on-call supervisor. It is alleged the supervisor told the nurse not to coddle the resident.
Later that night, the resident was found on the floor again requesting help. She held her arms in front of her like she was trying to grab something. Her eyes were unfocused and glassy.
Another worker at the facility contacted the registered nurse. A second worker called the on-call supervisor. State inspectors say the worker who called the nurse heard the on-call supervisor yelling at the other employee on the phone. The supervisor said the resident would not be hospitalized because she was merely seeking attention.
Later in the phone call between the worker and supervisor, the supervisor was told the resident was struggling to breathe. The supervisor is alleged to have yelled at the workers about ignoring the resident.
The resident was left in her room and found dead at 4:23 a.m. Staff contacted the nurse to report the death.
The police were called to the facility and when they got there, they saw a white, powdery substance on the mattress. There was also a box of acetaminophen by the bed, along with a purse with three acetaminophen bottles. There were also 12 tablets and two Tylenol pills in a jacket. There were other pills on the floor and in the resident’s blankets.
The bed also had a cup on it that was used to dispense medication. Plus, there was a pill stuck to the resident’s body.
The autopsy of the resident found acute-mixed drug toxicity with acetaminophen and prescription drugs was the cause of death. The investigation of the incident found no staff members knew the resident could access any pills because all medications were supposed to be given by the staff.
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