The BMC Geriatrics journal explains that polypharmacy is the use of multiple medications. It adds that polypharmacy can cause death or injury, respectively referred to as major or minor polypharmacy. Being an older adult may generally present a high likelihood that you will need to take numerous medications that could lead to polypharmacy-related health problems.
A Columbus polypharmacy lawyer might be able to obtain compensation if your loved one suffered a health event, including a fatal health event, because of polypharmacy.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 842-6336 for a free consultation.
The Dangers of Polypharmacy
Medications do not always interact well when your loved one takes them in combination. The journal Expert Opinion on Drug Safety explains that elderly populations residing in nursing homes are more likely than other groups to take multiple medications and potentially suffer adverse health consequences as a result.
Although taking multiple medications may be advisable for older individuals with more than one health condition, there are reasons why polypharmacy can become dangerous, including when:
- A patient takes drugs known to be dangerous when used together.
- A patient is given medications too frequently.
- Medications are given to someone who does not need them.
- Medications are given to somebody who is at high risk of experiencing side effects.
- Medications are given to someone inconsistently.
Nursing home staff members responsible for your loved one’s well-being should know which medications they are taking. They also should ensure they are giving these medications to your loved one safely.
Nursing Home Staff Must Be Knowledgeable and Safe
Nursing home leadership and staff have a responsibility to every patient and family member of every patient—that means you.
They have specific responsibilities when it comes to your loved one’s medications. Having a duty of care means a nursing home must know about the medications your loved one takes and administer them safely and properly.
A nursing home should have medical professionals on staff who understand the potential consequences of giving medications to residents in a way that could harm them. They should also be able to recognize the possible signs that a patient is having an adverse reaction to one or more medications they took.
The Mayo Clinic lists some of the bad reactions a patient may have to one or more medications, including:
- Difficulty breathing
- Cold- or flu-like symptoms
- Rapid heart rate
Any reaction that appears to be abnormal could indicate that your loved one is reacting adversely to a medication or a combination of medications. These sorts of reactions could be serious health concerns and may even have caused your loved one’s death.
Any health incident involving your loved one’s medications should be investigated. A Columbus polypharmacy lawyer and their team will determine why your loved one suffered a medication-related health event and who is responsible for the dangerous reaction.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to learn how our team may help you pursue justice for your loved one.
For a free legal consultation with a Ohio Polypharmacy Lawyer serving Columbus, call (800) 842-6336
Polypharmacy Problems Could Indicate Wrongdoing
When your loved one has a health problem, it is crucial that you get to the bottom of why the problem happened. It is possible that a polypharmacy-related issue could be the result of the nursing home’s wrongdoing.
The specific reason for your loved one’s health event could be polypharmacy, but your lawyer will investigate why the medication error occurred in the first place. The following forms of wrongdoing could be the root cause of your loved one’s trauma:
Hiring Unqualified Staff
Nursing home leadership must hire qualified, well-trained employees to care for your loved one and other residents. Employees who do not have the necessary experience caring for the elderly or who do not receive proper training upon beginning work for the nursing home could be a threat to your loved one’s health.
Part of the necessary training for staff who care directly for residents is related to medications. They should understand what medications your loved one takes, the proper dosages for those medications, and how frequently to provide those medications. They should also know how to respond when a patient shows signs of an adverse reaction.
Hiring Too Few Staff
Understaffing can lead to medication-related errors. In an understaffed nursing home, staff may:
- Feel rushed to give medications to many residents, making it more likely for them to cause errors
- Become exhausted because they are asked to do too much or care for too many residents
- Be unable to respond quickly to your loved one in the case of an adverse reaction to medications
When understaffing leads to your loved one’s harm, the nursing home could be liable.
Failing to Account for Medication-Related Problems
Nursing home staff must be prepared to respond to all sorts of emergencies, including bad reactions to medications. If the nursing home did not have qualified medical professionals on hand to respond to your loved one’s health event, they might have been at fault.
Any form of wrongdoing by nursing home leadership or staff may have caused your loved one to suffer short-term trauma, long-term health problems, or even death.
A lawyer and their team can:
- Investigate the circumstances related to your loved one’s health event.
- Determine how polypharmacy may have played a role in the harm of your loved one.
- Identify the parties who are liable for your loved one’s health event.
- Determine how much compensation your loved one deserves.
- File and complete a lawsuit, which may end with a settlement for your loved one.
A lawyer will also defend your loved one’s rights and help protect them from suffering any further harm.
Columbus Ohio Polypharmacy Lawyer Near Me (800) 842-6336
Call the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Team Today
A Columbus polypharmacy lawyer can present a plan for seeking compensation and then complete a lawsuit on your behalf. If you are interested in exploring your legal options further, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 842-6336 to speak with our team during a free consultation.