Saturday, May 28, 2011

I just won five bucks.

Although I doubt Laura-Loo will pay, because she wasn't all that keen on the bet in the first place.

We had a patient with symptoms of psychogenic origin (English: crazy as a pet raccoon) discharge home the other day. I bet her that the patient would call within forty-eight hours with either a problem or a claim that we had failed to return some of their (controlled substance, held in a lockbox) prescriptions.

I returned all of the prescriptions on discharge, and made sure I saw the patient put them into their suitcase. I even noted that in the chart.

They called today, claiming we'd lost a bottle of controlled-substance drugs.

We're never accused of failing to return antibiotics or hormones or other non-formulary drugs without a significant street value or abuse potential. It's always the amphetamines, Oxycontin, and Fentanyl lollipops we lose.

Of course.


terri c said...

HAHAHA! Yeah, that does sound like a pretty safe bet. I heard a good "allergy" the other day. Apparently a patient stated an allergy to succinylcholine. The reaction? Paralysis. Ummmmmm....

Anonymous said...


We had one just like that: all of a sudden only his Percocet prescription was missing when he got home. I say he sold it to the dope dealer in the trailer park.

Recently, we had a crayzee who went home recently who threw a fit over his Excedrin Migraine (yes, what a nut...we took it when he came in from his bag).

Had to call security to open the boss's office to get the blasted thing out.

Then he proceeded to break his wheelchair.

It never ends.

Silliyak said...

Plus whatever you can sell the drugs for...KIDDING!

messymimi said...

What a way to win a bet. Don't spend it all in one place.

Anonymous said...

Yup. Get lots of those types of calls. Story of my life.

Amazing really. You would think it is the same few that traverse the country...the story is so similar.

It would be nice if they came up with something original for a change....

Urbie said...

They™ (Big Pharma or whoever) SERIOUSLY need to come up with some better painkillers. I remain convinced that if my Mom had not gotten hooked on Oxycontin and stuff after her fall, she might have recovered from that whole thing.

Sakura-chan said...

Upon discharge, why can't the patient and the "discharger" go over the transference of medication, and both sign a form saying "yep I've got my meds and they're all there."?

Anonymous said...

Auntie Jo, I love you dearly BUT hospital employees can and do steal drugs from the unsuspecting! There are lots of hospital staff that steal from patients and lots that steal drugs. It's like when Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks and replied: "Because that's where all the money is!"

In 2007 I flew back home home to help my dad die well. He lingered and I ran out of pain & other medications (yes I'm one of them) and asked my daughter to fly in from SF with fresh prescriptions.

She went from my HMO's pharmacy to the airport and from there came directly to the hospital bring the whole 60 day supply she had picked up in SF with her.

Once there she gave me the medication, (a zillion big bottles of Metformin, 6 small bottles of Methadone a large bottle of Simvastatin & a small bottle on Oxycodone) something like 13-15 bottles of medication. I checked to contents to make sure that my HMO hadn't screwed up and put the paper bag with the prescriptions inside an opaque plastic bag which I then placed into my travel bag and zipped it up.

Shortly thereafter a hospital social worker came to the room and asked use to accompany her down the hall so she could discuss grief counseling with us. After a 15 minute meeting, my daughter and I return to room my dad was in.

You know the end of the story; a half hour later when I went to take my medications the bottle of Oxycodone was gone!

Worse still was the attitude of the staff when I went to report the theft. They basically ignored me, refused to call the police and wouldn't even call security to take a report. Meanwhile my dad was dying and I now had the choice of calling the police myself and waiting down at the front door of the hospital staying with my while he died. Needless to say I stayed with my dad, he died 30 minutes later and the floor staff sweep the theft under the table.

This wasn't a casual theft or a crime of opportunity. The person who stole the drugs had to enter a dying mans room, rifle the luggage, sort through a bizillion bottles to check the labels and then, after stealing the Oxycodone repack the bottles into first their paper and plastic bags and then into my travel bag.

As to your statement "It's always the amphetamines, Oxycontin, and Fentanyl lollipops we lose." You're probably right, they didn't take the metformin, the sinvastatin, or even the methadone, just the fun stuff.

Oh, and in case you wonder why people with pain get so freaked out when the stuff goes missing you need to realize that, because of other people drug abuse, ligitimate users with chronic unrelenting pain are subject to horrendous restrictions on pill replacement. After my dad died and I returned home my PCP replaced the stolen meds but until I got back to my home state and saw him I was basically screwed and that was only because he was a compassionate person. Speaking to the MD at the HMO's pain clinic that held my "Drug Contract" about the theft he told me that he wouldn't have replace the medication without a police report!

clairesmum said...

yup, nobody ever steals the lasix, do they?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1015 does have a valid point. When I flew last month I waived an inventory of meds at the nice TSA guy and told him that every single pill had been counted. (Since I was flying into Florida, the narcotic abuse and trade capitol of the country, I wanted all my meds in labeled original containers, especially the Norco. My carryon had only a two day emergency supply)

Everything made it safe and sound to our destination....but 10 pills of thirty disappeared from the hotel, despite all meds being under my unmentionables in a dresser drawer.

BTW, I was attacked by a large delusional patient while on the job (he leapt half a flight of steps unto me) and the ortho issues are what keep me on meds. It sucks to be both a patient and a nurse....all those damned junkies give the handful of us legit users a really bad rap. Norco is clearly labeled "Motrin" in my purse pill box. Blue vs yellow? Hope the amateurs are too dumb to know the difference!!!

Rachel K, RN

shrimplate said...

When patients bring their own drugs to the hospital I count each of the "important" pills and document them. I inventory their personal possessions. Always.

When they go home I first photocopy the prescriptions and carefully over-write "copy" on each one so that I don't get accused of trying to pass them off. Even the Lasix. Then I document that I gave one of these copies to the patient, which they could show to their own doctor. The patient signs a discharge sheet that lists the prescriptions I gave them.

But nothing is really bullet-proof, is it?

CNA Training said...

LOL of all the drugs to lose xD

Ragnarok said...

Its not really all that surprising I mean when I worked at a hospital same drugs would go missing but not just that but also syringes too. Its just redicious what people will do to feed an addiction..