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Ministry of Health investigation shows Caressant Care failed to report medication errors

Ministry of Health investigation shows Caressant Care failed to report medication errors - image
THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE/Dave Chidley

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care conducted an eight-month investigation into Caressant Care after Elizabeth Wetlauffer confessed to killing multiple senior residents.

Council for the Province Darrel Kloeze says the results showed Caressant care did not follow two of the ministry’s compliance orders.

READ MORE: Elizabeth Wettlaufer public inquiry pits nurses’ union against Caressant Care

In the public inquiry hearing into how Wetlauffer was able to commit her crimes without been detected, Kloeze says the care home “failed to ensure that every medication incident involving a resident and every adverse drug reaction was documented, together with the record of immediate actions taking to assess and maintain the resident health.”

“The licensee [Caressant Care] failed to ensure that every medication incident and adverse drug reaction was reported to the resident, the resident substitute decision maker, the director of nursing, the medical director, and the pharmacy service provider,” Kloeze said.
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Wetlauffer was fired from the long-term care home after giving a patient the wrong insulin, and one of the issues raised in court Wednesday was the absence of a critical incident report.

Mark Sandler, counsel for the College of Nurses, asked a witness from Caressant Care if she felt a critical incident report should have been filed.

“If the resident had sustained harm and been hospitalized, it should have been,” Carol Hepting, vice president of operations, responded.

“What do you mean by sustain harm?” Sandler asked.

“Got very ill,” Hepting said.

“In the absence of the patient becoming very ill, it’s your view that that need not have been subject of a critical incident report. Is that right?” Sandler asked.

“Yes,” Hepting replied.

Wetlauffer was convicted in 2017 for killing eight patients and attempting to kill four others with overdoses of insulin and seven of her murder victims where from Caressant care.

READ MORE: Coroner declined to perform autopsy on victim of Elizabeth Wettlaufer, inquiry hears

Hepting broke down in court when asked how Wetlauffer’s actions impacted the home.

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She says she learned of Wetlauffer’s crimes after police contacted the home in fall of 2016 and she had never met Wetlauffer.

“You take an oath to care for people, and for this to happen, I feel so badly for the victims who whatever time they had left was cut short,” Hepting said.

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