One of the leading causes of patient harm within a nursing home is medication error. In fact, while the study is dated, research from 2005 indicates that the rate of adverse drug events was nearly 10 per 100 resident-months, with about 40 percent of those adverse drug events being called preventable.
Medication errors continue to be a large problem in nursing homes today. If your elderly loved one has suffered harm as a result of an adverse drug event, our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers are here to investigate the incident and build a case on your family’s behalf.
COMMON MEDICATION ERRORS IN NURSING HOMES
There are multiple different errors and mistakes that nursing home professionals can make regarding residents and medication. These include, but are not limited to:
- Giving the wrong medication;
- Mixing medications improperly;
- Administering the wrong dosage amount;
- Failing to follow drug administration directions;
- Failing to give a proper amount of food/water with medications;
- Improper administration leading to infection; and
- Improper crushing of medications (some medications have “do not crush” instructions).
In addition to the above, medication may be improperly used to restrain or even intentionally injure a patient, with a nursing home staff member intentionally withholding medication or giving too much medication (at one time) or too frequently. Patients may also receive the wrong drugs as a result of patient chart errors, medication labeling errors, lab work errors, etc.
HARM CAUSED BY MEDICATION ERRORS IN NURSING HOMES
Medication is given in order to help a patient, usually either by alleviating pain, or by actually treating a condition. As such, when a patient does not receive the right medication or the right dosage of medication (or medication is ineffective due to improper administration), they may suffer a deterioration in condition or worsening of symptoms as such.
More scary is in the event that a patient has an acute adverse reaction as a result of a medication error, such as an allergic reaction or emergency medical event. This can result in the need for additional medical care, or even lead to death.
LIABILITY FOR NURSING HOME MEDICATION ERRORS
Nursing homes and their staff members must take great care as it pertains to the administration of medication for patients. When this duty of care is breached for whatever reason, the nursing home may be held liable as a result. Elderly persons who are harmed may seek damage for the full extent of injury, including both economic and noneconomic losses.
ADVOCATING FOR NURSING HOME PATIENTS’ RIGHTS
Oftentimes, nursing home medication errors can be avoided simply by slowing down and paying greater attention to what one is doing. Indeed, such errors are preventable in a large percentage of cases.
At the Kosieradzki & Smith Law Firm LLC, our Minnesota nursing home abuse lawyers know how scary a medication error event can be, both for the affected patient and their loved ones. If a medication error in a nursing home has occurred that has left a patient with harm they would not have sustained otherwise, our team will be here to advocate for you. Please contact our law offices today for a free consultation.