Nurs­ing home cited for ‘med­i­ca­tion in­ci­dents’

Fa­cil­ity at heart of mur­der case taken to task by prov­ince over dozens of mis­takes last year

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - PAOLA LORIGGIO

In­spec­tion re­ports show an On­tario longterm-care home where a former nurse is ac­cused of killing seven se­niors was taken to task by the prov­ince for dozens of “med­i­ca­tion in­ci­dents” just be­fore it was or­dered to stop ad­mit­ting pa­tients.

The re­cently re­leased re­ports, which are dated Jan. 24, in­di­cate there were 41 drug-re­lated in­ci­dents at the Ca­res­sant Care nurs­ing home in Wood­stock be­tween early Au­gust and late De­cem­ber of last year.

The records show 22 such in­ci­dents in­volved med­i­ca­tion not given to pa­tients, six in­volved pa­tients given the wrong dosage, five in­volved drugs given to the wrong per­son, three were doses given at the wrong time and one was med­i­ca­tion ad­min­is­tered with­out a pre­scrip­tion.

The home was also or­dered to doc­u­ment cases in which pa­tients ex­pe­ri­enced ad­verse re­ac­tions to drugs, some­thing in­spec­tors found it had failed to do.

The in­ci­dents laid out in the re­ports took place more than two years af­ter the de­par­ture of El­iz­a­beth Wet­t­laufer, a former nurse now charged with eight counts of first-de­gree mur­der, seven of which in­volve peo­ple who lived in the home at the time.

Ca­res­sant Care was told to stop ac­cept­ing new pa­tients on Jan. 25 af­ter the Min­istry of Health and Long-term Care ex­pressed con­cerns about the safety of cur­rent or fu­ture res­i­dents.

The min­istry said at the time that con­cerns about the home re­lated to in­ci­dents that oc­curred since Au­gust 2016 and did not in­volve “any is­sues that the po­lice have been asked to in­ves­ti­gate.”

Po­lice launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion in late Septem­ber af­ter be­com­ing aware of in­forma- tion that Wet­t­laufer had given to a psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal in Toronto that caused them con­cern, a po­lice source has told The Cana­dian Press.

The 49-year-old former nurse was ar­rested in Oc­to­ber and charged with mur­der in con­nec­tion with the deaths of res­i­dents at nurs­ing homes in Wood­stock and Lon­don, Ont. Po­lice al­leged Wet­t­laufer used drugs to kill the se­niors while she worked at the fa­cil­i­ties be­tween 2007 and 2014.

Last month, po­lice laid ad­di­tional at­tempted mur­der and ag­gra­vated as­sault charges and ex­humed two bod­ies as part of their on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The al­le­ga­tions against Wet­t­laufer have not been proved in court.

The next court hear­ing in her case is set for Wed­nes­day.

Records from the Col­lege of Nurses of On­tario show Wet­t­laufer was first reg­is­tered as a nurse in Au­gust 1995 but re­signed Sept. 30, 2016, and is no longer a reg­is­tered nurse.

Ca­res­sant Care, which owns 15 long-term­care homes in On­tario, de­clined to com­ment. In one of the re­ports, how­ever, the f acil­ity’s di­rec­tor of nurs­ing was re­ported to have “ac­knowl­edged that numer­ous med­i­ca­tion in­ci­dents had hap­pened, that they were con­cern­ing and re­quired ac­tion by the home.”


A woman walks into the Ca­res­sant Care fa­cil­ity in Wood­stock where a former nurse is ac­cused of killing seven se­niors. On Jan. 25, the nurs­ing home was or­dered to stop ad­mit­ting pa­tients.

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