Despite the fact that the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 asserts the right of nursing home residents to receive quality care, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) reports that 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 or older suffers elder abuse, and some estimates place the number of victims at approximately 5 million. Elder abuse often occurs in nursing homes, where residents may experience physical, emotional, or sexual abuse as well as neglect. Negligence, including medication errors, can have detrimental effects on the health and well-being of residents.
If medication errors resulting from the negligence of nursing home staff led to your medical injury or the loss of a loved one, a Fort Worth medication errors lawyer can assist you in pursuing compensation for your damages. Call the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 842-6336 to discuss your case.
Prevalence of Medication Errors in Nursing Homes
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), adverse drug effects, which refer to injuries resulting from medication consumption, occur commonly in nursing homes even though staff could prevent many of them; in one study, researchers found that facilities could have prevented medical errors in 40% of the cases they examined. Medication errors occur most frequently among residents who take one or more of several types of common drugs, such as:
Effects of Medication Errors
While some medication errors may cause little to no harm, others can lead to serious consequences. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists some of the effects of medication errors, which include hospitalization, disability, and death.
The safe use of one popular anticoagulant, warfarin, has become a major concern in recent years, as dangerous adverse drug events continue to cause preventable harm. Although 1 in 10 nursing home residents takes warfarin, less than 50% receive the appropriate dosage, which can lead to serious or fatal bleeds.
Even expired medications, which many deem harmless, can have risky side effects. Because they typically have decreased effectiveness, they can lead to antibiotic resistance or fail to effectively treat infections, which can allow them to linger and worsen.
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Types of Medication Errors
Medication errors can take place at any stage, from the initial prescription to the administration of the drug. While some mistakes begin with doctors at the ordering stage, nursing home professionals have a responsibility to provide the correct medication as prescribed every time to prevent harm to residents. Some of the most common types of medication errors include:
- Forgetting to administer the drug
- Giving the medication at the wrong time
- Giving a resident the wrong drug
- Providing the wrong dose or preparation
- Giving the drug to the wrong resident
- Not following the rules for dispensing the medication
According to an article in Quality and Safety in Health Care, medication inaccuracies in one study, in order from most to least frequent, included:
- Dose omission
- Wrong patient
- Wrong product
- Wrong strength
Most mistakes occurred during the administration of drugs as a direct result of human error. If you or someone you love suffered an adverse drug effect as the result of a medication error in a Fort Worth nursing home, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you seek compensation for your injuries or loss. Contact our legal team today so we can talk to you about the details of your case.
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Pursuing Financial Awards in Your Medication Errors Case
When residents suffer an adverse effect from a drug in a nursing home, it often occurs as the result of staff negligence. Victims or their surviving family members may qualify for financial recovery for their damages, which could include compensation for:
- Medical bills and equipment
- Nursing home bills
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering
While a lawyer cannot guarantee that you will receive a certain amount, they can work with you to determine the value of your damages and seek just financial awards on your behalf. In most cases, our attorneys can settle nursing home abuse cases out of court. However, we will take your case to trial to fight for fair compensation if necessary.
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A Fort Worth Medication Errors Lawyer Can Gather Evidence to Support Your Claim
A lawyer can help you take the next step in your claim by collecting evidence that proves the negligence of the nursing home. These types of evidence may include nursing home records, such as charts, staff schedules, and surveillance videos, as well as the resident’s medical records. Once you can demonstrate that facility staff either acted carelessly or failed to act, which resulted in your injury and the resulting damages, you can then pursue financial recovery in your case.
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Texas Has Statutes of Limitations on Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence Claims
While you may have the option to hold the nursing home that caused your injury or the loss of your loved one accountable for their negligence, the State of Texas offers a limited time frame in which you can do so. Known as a statute of limitations, this time frame determines how much time you have to pursue legal action before you lose the ability to seek compensation in your case.
In accordance with Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §16.003, victims of medication errors in nursing homes generally have up to two years to file a personal injury claim against the liable party, while §71.001 allows certain family members of those who suffered fatal medication injuries up to two years to file a wrongful death suit. Exceptions may apply, but a Fort Worth medication errors lawyer can determine your qualification and how long you have left to take legal action.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help You Take the Next Steps in Your Case
When you chose a nursing home for yourself or your loved one, you rightfully expected that they would provide the quality care guaranteed by federal law. If you suffered an adverse reaction or lost a spouse, parent, or another family member because of a medication error in a Fort Worth nursing home, the lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (800) 842-6336 to discuss your options with our legal team.