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Understanding Medication Errors in Nursing Homes

Your loved one depends on his or her medications while in a nursing home. However, if staff members give the wrong medication, the wrong dosage or fail to administer the medication as directed by their doctor, serious and potentially fatal complications can result. Federal law requires that a consulting pharmacist monitor every resident’s medication regimen at least monthly in skilled nursing facilities. However, this is not a requirement for assisted living or adult care homes.

The personal injury attorneys of Hupy and Abraham have provided the following list of common medication errors to help identify if your loved one is at risk for these life-threatening mistakes.

Common Errors:

  • Nurse or staff member follows the wrong medication schedule/route.
  • Administration dosage is too little or too high.
  • Failure to consider drug interactions with other medications.
  • Failure to monitor patients after administration of new medication.
  • Delayed response, or failure to respond, to signs and symptoms of drug toxicity.
  • Neglecting to follow all directions such as providing food or water with certain medications.
  • Improper labeling of medication or misreading of abbreviations for drugs.

When these errors occur, they can result in adverse drug events (ADEs) such as falls and fractures, bleeding, malnutrition, dehydration, incontinence or delirium. While only a small number of medication errors actually cause adverse drug reactions or events, nearly 50 percent of adverse reactions were caused by error.

Medication errors usually occur because of:

  • An increase in the number of residents for the administering staff members.
  • Malice or neglect by staff, in which staff members may intentionally give the wrong medication to injure the resident, or to make care easier. Or they may skip administration of medications because of time constraints.
  • Carelessness in confirming that the correct medication and dosage is being administered to the correct resident.

The personal injury attorneys of Hupy and Abraham believe that your loved one deserves the best possible treatment, especially when they reside in nursing homes designed to provide the quality of care that can no longer be provided by family.  

If you or a loved one were harmed by a medication error, due to the negligence of nursing home staff or medical professional, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you incurred. Contact Hupy and Abraham today for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation at 800-800-5678, or start a live chat anytime at Hupy.com.