Medication errors in nursing homes are common, and they can have serious impacts on residents’ health. A study in the journal Quality and Safety in Healthcare looked at 25 nursing homes and found 51 errors that had a serious health impact on a resident in one year.
If a patient receives too little or too much of a drug, or if a resident is given a drug that was not prescribed, the effects can range from mild to life-threatening.
If you believe your loved one was given the wrong medication or was given a drug in the wrong amount or in the wrong manner, an Atlanta medication errors lawyer may be able to help. Since 1985, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has been seeking justice on behalf of victims of nursing home abuse and neglect in all 50 states. We work with litigation firms across the country to better serve our clients.
Our team can investigate to figure out what happened. If we find that the nursing home neglected or abused your family member, we may file a personal injury lawsuit to seek financial compensation. Call our office to learn how we may be able to help.
Signs That Your Loved One May Be a Victim of a Medication Error
If you notice a difference in your family member’s appearance or demeanor when you visit, it may be due to a medication error. You may find that your relative’s mood or behavior has changed. He or she may be tired, lethargic, or confused or may have impaired memory. You may also notice that your loved one has gained or lost a significant amount of weight or has experienced other physical changes.
Receiving the wrong medication or the wrong amount can cause nursing home residents to feel lightheaded and off-balance. That can increase the risk of falling and can result in serious injuries, such as head trauma and broken bones. If your loved one fell recently, a medication error may have been at least partly to blame.
How Medication Errors Can Occur in Nursing Homes
In some cases, a patient is given an incorrect medication. If the individual has a serious medical condition, receiving the wrong drug, or not getting the right one, may put his or her life at risk. If a resident is given drugs that are not meant to be taken together, they may cause a dangerous interaction that may lead to life-threatening complications, such as organ damage. If a staff member mixes up prescriptions for two patients and gives each person drugs intended for the other, that can put the lives of both patients in danger.
Staff members may give residents the wrong dose of medication or give it at the wrong time. That can cause a patient to receive too little of a drug or too much in a short period of time, which can have dangerous results.
An employee may forget or may not have been told that a medication needs to be mixed or shaken before being administered. A staff member may crush a pill for a patient who has trouble swallowing pills. If that medication is not meant to be crushed, the patient may receive the dose all at once, rather than gradually, which can be dangerous.
Facilities sometimes continue to administer drugs to residents after they have reached their expiration date. Expired medication may be ineffective or even dangerous.
If a facility is understaffed and employees feel rushed or distracted, they may make mistakes. If an employee who regularly administers medications is unavailable, a manager may instruct another staff member who has not been trained and certified to give residents their prescriptions. A person who has not received appropriate training may make mistakes that endanger the health and safety of people in the facility’s care.
For a free legal consultation with a Medication Errors Lawyer serving Atlanta, call (800) 842-6336
How Nursing Homes Sometimes Intentionally Misuse Medication
Nursing homes across the United States often use chemical restraints to control residents. In understaffed facilities, employees who do not have the time and resources to give residents the attention they deserve may instead administer medications that make patients tired and docile. Antipsychotic medications are sometimes given to large numbers of nursing home residents who have no history of mental illness. This practice is a form of abuse that is illegal, and that can put residents’ lives in danger.
If you believe your loved one’s medication error was due to nursing home abuse or neglect, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.
Atlanta Medication Errors Lawyer Near Me (800) 842-6336
How a Lawyer May Be Able to Assist You
An attorney can help you by investigating what happened to your loved one and who was responsible. We may review your family member’s medical records and compare them to nursing home records to find out if your relative was given the correct prescriptions in the correct way at the correct times.
We may interview employees and managers to ask about the nursing home’s medication administration procedures, staff training, and oversight. We can also investigate to find out if the nursing home illegally used chemical restraints to control your loved one.
Under GA Code § 16-5-101, a person who is responsible for caring for a disabled adult or an elderly person and who deprives the person of proper health care, thereby jeopardizing the individual’s health or well-being, could be considered guilty of neglect.
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Get Help from an Atlanta Medication Errors Lawyer
If your loved one received the wrong medication or the wrong amount in a nursing home, they might have suffered serious medical harm. Some consequences of medication errors, such as organ damage, may not be fully apparent right away. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you pursue financial compensation to hold the facility accountable.
You might be thinking that your family could not afford to hire an attorney. Our firm works on a contingency basis. That means that we only receive a fee if we obtain financial compensation on a client’s behalf.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to talk to a member of our staff.