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Coquitlam nurse resigns after investigation into accidental overdose

The nurse failed to acknowledge a patient had overdosed, and didn't report his error.
A Coquitlam nurse gave up his registration after an investigation into an accidental non-fatal overdose.

A Coquitlam nurse has given up his registration after an investigation into a near-fatal overdose.

The BC College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) released a consent agreement on April 7 outlining concerns resulting from a medication error involving methadone.

On Nov. 15, 2021, a patient was in distress from an opioid overdose. However, Catalin Ghilinta, a licensed practical nurse (LPN), did not acknowledge that the overdose was occurring and he also failed to report the error.

A colleague noticed the patient was in distress and advocated for them, resulting in life-saving treatment by emergency services, the consent agreement states.

Subsequently, Ghilinta created "erroneous documentation in the medical record of two patients and provided false or misleading statements to investigators during the employer's investigation of this serious patient safety event."

Ghilinta also acted outside the (LPN) scope of practice when he performed a rectal examination and fecal disimpaction on one patient. 

The regulatory board initially sought a lengthy suspension, subsequent limits on Ghilinta's practice and other remedial terms to "emphasize that early reporting and immediate action are mandatory when medication errors occur."

However, Ghilinta voluntarily relinquished his registration at the conclusion of investigation.

"BCCNM recognizes that human error occurs and promotes a nursing culture in which registrants are encouraged to report errors and act immediately," the college noted in the consent agreement.