An elderly nursing home resident may have died as a result of a morphine overdose administered by a nurse at the facility. The daughters of the dead woman believe the nurses then covered up the incident by falsifying the nursing home’s drug register. The Coroner is investigating the size of the morphine doses and whether Ms Zimmerman had received "an appropriate standard of care".  The resident was injected with 10 milligrams of morphine, a dose that the inquest heard was not appropriate for a woman of her age and in her condition. Michelle Zimmerman, the daughter who happens to be a RN, claims that the nurse Ms Chapman later told her she should only have given Mrs Zimmerman five miligrams of morphine.

Mrs Zimmerman was prescribed small doses of morphine for pain linked to various health problems. The inquest heard that a registered nurse, Rosemary Chapman, injected the 84-year-old with morphine a number of times over several days. When the elderly woman’s daughters visited her, they found her in a comatose state, with her eyes open but not responding.

Daughter Michelle Zimmerman claims the nurses refused to act at this point, stating Mrs Zimmerman was dying as a consequence of her pre-existing health problems and nothing could be done. Michelle Zimmerman called Crime Stoppers, who arranged for an ambulance to attend. Mrs Zimmerman was taken to the Blue Mountains District Hospital, where she died a few days later.

 

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