Approximately one-fourth of all nursing home residents receive errors regarding their medications, according to data published by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Any medication errors of an elderly resident in a nursing home are serious, as they can result in injury or death.
Many families make the difficult decision to place their elderly loved one in a nursing home so that they receive the attention, care, and supervision they need. When residents suffer the results of medication errors from a nursing home’s negligence, they have the legal right to pursue justice.
Learn how a Savannah medication errors lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help when you call. Our team can help you receive justice for your loved one’s injuries related to medication errors.
When to Act on a Medication Error in a Nursing Home
Situations involving medical errors can result in serious health complications or even fatalities for nursing home residents. It can cost a lot of time for a loved one to recover from such errors, which can result in high medical bills, lost wages due to sudden caregiving duties, and more. These damages may be recoverable, but families may not always realize there is a time limit on how long they have to make their case.
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is within two years, as outlined in O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. If your situation involves a wrongful death or possible medical malpractice, you may only have a limited time to seek compensation under state law. A lawyer can help navigate territory unfamiliar to you and provide representation and guidance as you pursue recovery of damages.
How Medication Errors Happen in Nursing Homes
Medication errors and mistakes can occur during the preparation or distribution/administration of a nursing home resident’s medicine. While there are many different types of medication errors, the following are specific examples that can occur in nursing homes:
- Not following the prescribing doctor’s orders
- Failing to check a resident’s lab work with respect to their prescriptions
- Not preparing the medication according to the manufacturer’s instructions
- Failing to follow professional standards required of any person preparing or distributing medication
- Incorrect prescription of medication
- Incorrect dosage of correct medication
- Not checking to see whether the medication interacts with other medicines the elderly resident is taking
Errors also can happen as a result of not providing the medication at the right time or rate, or not checking dietary requirements to ensure the medication does not negatively interact with the person’s diet.
Checking the label on medicine is important, as doing so plays an essential role in keeping nursing home residents safe. The medication may contain the wrong label, or it could have expired, which could weaken the products or make them more toxic for the person taking them.
Medical errors also happen when medication that was prescribed for one resident is given to another. Medications should always be taken as prescribed by a doctor and given only to the person whose name is on the prescription.
If your elderly loved one has suffered injuries or death as the result of a medication error in a nursing home, a Savannah medication errors lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you understand your next steps.
For a free legal consultation with a Savannah Medication Errors Lawyer serving Savannah, call (800) 794-0444
Consequences of Medication Errors in Nursing Homes
The consequences of nursing home medication errors are often serious and severe.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that “older adults (65 years or older) visit emergency departments almost 450,000 times each year, more than twice as often as younger persons.”
Many senior adults remain susceptible to any harm due to frailty and immune-compromised systems. If an elderly resident receives incorrect or inaccurate medications, they may suffer serious medical complications that can result expensive medical bills due to treatment and recovery.
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Nursing Homes Negligence and Medication Errors
In some cases, nursing home employees remain negligent in their actions regarding medication preparation and distribution. Nursing homes have a responsibility and duty to provide proper training and education to all employees regarding preparation, administration, and/or distribution of medications.
Additionally, nursing homes should always remain properly and adequately staffed to ensure that nursing home residents receive the right care and treatment, especially when it comes to medicines they may need to stay healthy or even to stay alive.
Nursing homes are expected to follow strict requirements for the residents in their care. The federal Nursing Home Reform Act was passed in 1987 to protect people who receive nursing care in a facility and ensure they receive the care they need. States like Georgia also have their own regulations to oversee that nursing home residents receive quality care. If a nursing home fails to follow these requirements, and a resident suffers injury or harm as a result, the nursing home maybe liable for those injuries.
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Steps to Take Following a Medication Error in a Nursing Home
First, make sure your elderly loved one meets with a medical professional for a proper evaluation. If you discovered the medication error on your own, request that the management of the nursing home explain why you did not receive any notification of the error involving your loved one.
If you believe a nursing home’s negligence with respect to a medication error directly caused your elderly loved one to suffer injuries or death, you may have the right to request that the nursing home conduct an investigation. Additionally, you have the legal right to contact Adult Protective Services and even law enforcement, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.
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Learn How a Savannah Medication Errors Lawyer Can Help
Medication errors do occur in nursing homes, but they are preventable. Learn how a Savannah medication errors lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you understand your legal rights and how you can pursue justice in your individual case.
You can call our legal team. We would welcome the opportunity to help you receive possible compensation for the additional medical expenses, pain and suffering, and additional medical challenges your loved one faced as a result of the nursing home’s negligent behavior regarding a medication error in the nursing home.