Medication Errors in Nursing Homes
Alabama medication error lawyer who delivers results. Discover what we can do for you
Medication errors in nursing homes can have serious or even life-threatening consequences. That's why our nursing home neglect lawyer takes such cases so seriously. If your loved one was given the wrong medication, he could suffer from a wide range of health problems.
Hold nursing home accountable for their actions. Contact Shuttlesworth Law Firm, P.C. Our aggressive nursing home neglect attorney knows how to handle such serious matters as well as many other common nursing home neglect cases.
There are many possible types of medication errors. The following are a few common medication errors we have seen:
- Wrong dosage: Too much medication may lead to a fatal overdose and wrongful death. One of the most common medication errors is double medication; that is, mistakenly giving a resident their medications twice. In other cases, too little medication can result in a condition that goes untreated and becomes grave.
- Drug mix-up: Medical professionals sometimes administer the wrong drug, which can result in serious side effects.
- Administering multiple medications that may have adverse side effects when combined: The nursing home staff needs to be aware of any drugs a patient may be using to avoid adverse reactions from mixing medications.
- Failing to check a patient's background: A resident may have certain allergies or other health issues that may be incompatible with a certain drug.
Causes of medication errors in nursing homes
In nursing homes, medication errors can occur due to many reasons, ranging from system-related issues to human errors. Medication errors in nursing homes can have serious consequences for residents' health and well-being. Some common causes of medication errors in nursing homes include:
- Carelessness of staff members.
- Misreading medication orders or labels.
- Failure to follow up with pharmacists, doctors, or nurses.
- Inadequate staff training on medication administration protocols.
- Understaffing, leading to high stress levels and rushed and overburdened work environments.
- Staffing issues, such as lack of experienced personnel or frequent turnover.
"How can I tell if a medication error was due to nursing home neglect?"
When patients are given the wrong medication or not given medication altogether, the symptoms can often be quite dramatic. Depending on which drug your loved one was accidentally given or did not receive, she could exhibit a wide range of health problems.
Look for anything out of the ordinary, including:
- Sudden change in health condition
- Sudden change of mood
- Unexplained health problems
Preventing medication errors in nursing homes
When it comes to medication administration in nursing homes, ensuring patient safety and preventing errors is the priority. One effective approach is to adhere to the five "R's" of medication management. These principles serve as a guide for healthcare professionals in minimizing medication errors and promoting safe practices.
- Right patient: Make sure the medication is given to the correct resident. Using photographs or barcodes is a great way to identify a patient and can help prevent medication mix-ups and ensure accurate administration.
- Right medication: Double-checking that the medication matches the prescription is crucial. Nurses should carefully check the medication label against the medication order, focusing on factors such as name, strength, dosage form, and route of administration. Using barcode scanning systems can help reduce mix-ups.
- Right dose: Administering the correct dosage is critical for patient safety. Nurses should carefully calculate and double-check the prescribed dosage, considering the resident's weight, age, renal function, and other relevant factors. Using standardized dosing references and technology aids, such as electronic medication systems, can help ensure the right dose will be administered.
- Right route: There are different routes or ways medication can be administered such as oral, intravenous, or topical, as specified by the healthcare provider. Proper training and clear documentation can help prevent administration via wrong
- Right time: Administering medications at the designated time is crucial for maintaining effectiveness. Nurses should adhere to the prescribed schedule and avoid unnecessary delays or mistakes with timing. Medication reminder systems and timely refills can help make sure medications are taken when they should be.
In short, medication errors in nursing homes are preventable. When staff do their jobs, residents should get their medications on time and in the correct dosage. Medication errors are a serious form of nursing home neglect that demands accountability.
What should I do if I suspect nursing home neglect caused a medication error?
Medical records should clearly indicate exactly what medications should or should not have been administered to nursing home patients. That's why it's important to immediately take the following steps to protect your loved one's health and strengthen your legal case:
- Notify the nursing home immediately of your concerns.
- Seek immediate medical attention for your loved one.
- Demand a copy of the medical records for your loved one.
- Contact us immediately.
If you are retained by our firm, we can vigorously investigate your case and make sure your loved one's rights are respected and your family receives the compensation you rightfully deserve. Remember, you didn't do anything wrong. Why should your family have to suffer any more?
Information is power. Discover what Shuttlesworth Law Firm, P.C. can do for you
Staying on top of the latest legal developments in Alabama and across the country allows our attorney to build strong legal cases. The more we know, the more we can do for clients. You probably have many more legal options than you might realize. Learn more. Contact us today.
We handle cases that deal with all types of medication errors, and we work on a contingency fee basis when handling nursing home neglect cases. This means you don’t pay us any fees unless you win your lawsuit or secure a settlement.
Call 866-583-1885 and schedule a free case evaluation right now. Our law firm is conveniently located in downtown Birmingham, and we proudly serve families throughout Alabama. Don't wait another day to contact us. A delay could affect the outcome of your case.