Follow-up tests suggest residents at the Claiborne County Hospital and Nursing Home suffered from a bad drug test rather than bad drugs, officials said. Local and state police were notified last week when one of the nursing home’s patients tested positive for marijuana in the hospital emergency room.
Health officials conducted drug tests on all 98 nursing home residents, turning up 24 positive results for marijuana. However, follow-up tests on nearly two dozen residents showed no traces of marijuana, administrators said Wednesday. “We got back our first-floor residents’ confirmation tests, and all of them are negative,” said Linda Vanlandingham, the facility’s quality and risk manager.
All the patients took Protonix, an anti-ulcer medication that apparently set off the false alarms for marijuana in a routine drug screening test, Vanlandingham said. Officials at San Diego-based Biosite, the company that makes the widely used screening test, confirmed Protonix is one of two medications that their test can mistake for marijuana.