Nurses working at Monmounth Medical Center gave Benadryl to patients to "lighten the workload," a lawsuit alleges.
The plaintiff, Patricia Moran, is a nurse with 31 years of experience at the New Jersey hospital and says the staff engaged in retaliatory practices after she reported “illicit, unsafe, illegal and fraudulent medical practices” to hospital management.
In the lawsuit, Moran alleges “retaliation after she reported employees who intentionally disregarded patient safety standards and falsified patient medical records.” Moran says that a number of her peers “misused and administered” Benadryl.
Benadryl's primary purpose is to stop allergy or cold symptoms and causes sleepiness.
The accused nurses gave Benadryl to make patients fall asleep, Moran alleges. Additionally, the suit says, nurses administering the Benadryl did not note the drug's distribution in medical charts, per hospital policy.
Moran reported the actions to her supervisor, a manager who also oversaw the accused nurses, and was immediately retaliated against, the suit says.
Moran says she was denied work hours and transferred to a new position, one that she had not been given prior training.
Moran was eventually suspended on unpaid leave for 14 weeks, between July and October 2019.
When asked for comment, a spokesperson for Monmouth Medical Center did not comment on the allegations laid out in the lawsuit.
“Monmouth Medical Center is fully committed to providing a safe environment for our patients, visitors and staff. Per our policy, we are unable to comment on any individual employee or patient matter,” the spokesperson said.