Lawsuit Filed: Woman Suffers Medication Overdose Three Days Following Admission to San Luis Obispo Nursing Facility

San Luis Obispo, Calif. – Iris Schedler was admitted to Country Care Convalescent Hospital, a 24-hour skilled nursing facility, for pre-operative care after falling from a horse and suffering a tibia fracture that required surgery. Less than three days following admission, Schedler suffered a Fentanyl overdose after a poorly trained employee applied a poisonous Fentanyl patch to her arm without a physician’s order. Shortly after the patch was applied, Schedler experienced significant and dramatic physical difficulties. And in response, Country Care Convalescent Hospital  refused to notify appropriate persons and transfer Schedler to a hospital for live saving efforts; instead, in a panic Schedler was required to arrange for her own immediate transfer.

Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Country Care Convalescent Hospital for dependent adult abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.

“Country Care Convalescent Hospital’s staff knew that changing Iris’ medication or dosage would put her in danger; unfortunately, it’s evident they put profit over patients by having an untrained staff member give her this patch without any instruction from a physician,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Iris entered Country Care Convalescent Hospital to specifically address and prevent these known dangers, but rather than providing the proper care required by law, the facility completely disregarded their responsibility to care for patients like Iris. As a result, Iris suffered from severe and preventable pressure ulcers on her leg and throughout her back, as well as other serious injuries.”

Allegations and Background

The lawsuit states that in May 2016, Schedler suffered a fall from a horse, resulting in a tibia fracture that required surgery. She was admitted to Country Care Convalescent Hospital for a short-term stay because she required pre-operative care due to swelling, and assistance with activities of daily living, including proper medication administration and wound management. Upon Schedler’s admission, it’s alleged that Country Care Convalescent Hospital’s staff were well aware through assessment information, family information and physician notes that Schedler’s surgery had left her with significant pain that was being managed by potent opioid medications, which rendered Schedler not only particularly susceptible to the development of pressure ulcers, but also susceptible to adverse medication reactions if not given the proper dosage and medication.

According to the lawsuit, less than three days following Schedler’s admission, a poorly trained facility employee applied a contraindicated Fentanyl patch to Schedler’s arm without a physician’s order. Shortly after application of the unauthorized Fentanyl patch, Schedler allegedly began exhibiting overdose symptoms that went either ignored or unrecognized by Country Care Convalescent Hospital staff until large and painful blisters covered Schedler’s back and leg. Overwhelmed by the significant medication error, it’s evident that Country Care Convalescent Hospital refused to notify appropriate persons and transfer Schedler to a hospital. After significant delay, Schedler contacted her husband who arranged for her immediate transfer. The complaint states that upon arrival of EMTs, hospital staff ripped the Fentanyl patch from Schedler’s arm and explained that Schedler was malingering in an effort to conceal their withholding of care.

After an overnight stay at French Hospital Medical Center, Schedler was sent to Bella Vista Transitional Care Center. Upon arrival, Bella Vista Transitional Care Center’s staff were shocked to discover Schedler’s back and legs were covered with blood blisters the size of quarters after less than one week at the Country Care Convalescent Hospital.