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W.Va. House Backs Aides Giving Nursing Home Drugs

West Virginia House of Delegates, January 2018.
Perry Bennett
West Virginia Legislative Photography
West Virginia House of Delegates, January 2018.

West Virginia's House has voted to let nursing aides give various prescription medications to patients at nursing homes.

Supporters of the bill, approved 55-44 on Tuesday, say the certified nurse aides would have to be trained every two years, work under the direction of a registered nurse, couldn't give opioids and other drugs listed as having high potential for abuse and could give injections only with pre-filled insulin.

Aides would have to record every medication they give. They couldn't calculate dosages or work from verbal doctor's orders.

Opponents say their concerns are patient safety as well as the potential diversion of allowable medications, which include barbiturates that are potentially addictive.

Lawmakers on both sides note that 25 states allow the practice and 25 don't.

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