A nursing home administrator at Kern Valley Hospital, Pamela Ott, has been charged with eight felony counts of elder abuse for allegedly authorizing the administration of high doses of psychotropic medications to residents in inappropriate circumstances. The court documents indicate that the medications were administered in order to keep the dementia and Alzheimer’s patients sedated for the convenience of the nursing home staff.
Attorney General, Edmond G. Brown, Jr. explained, “As hospital administrator, Pamela Ott, was ultimately responsible for safeguarding the welfare of her patients. Instead, Ott abdicated her responsibility and allowed the staff of the Kern Valley Hospital to forcibly sedate patients who questioned their care.”
These allegations follow charges previously filed by the California Attorney General against the former director of nursing, former pharmacist and former medical director at the same facility. The pharmacist allegedly filled the prescriptions for the psychotropic medications without orders from physicians. The administration of these medications reportedly resulted in the deaths of three residents, as well as other medical problems for additional residents.
Criminal Charges Filed Against Former Nursing Home Admin., Bakersfield News, September 8, 2009.