Nursing homes have a responsibility and obligation to ensure that their elderly residents receive the proper medication at the proper time. One of the most important functions of a nursing home is to provide and administer medication to residents for their medical conditions.
Elderly patients might need their medication rolled, crushed, or diluted, and might require food or water to take with the medication. Any time a nursing home fails to provide medication or administers medication incorrectly to an elderly resident, they place them in harm’s way, which can result in injury or death.
If your elderly loved one suffered an injury or death due to a medication error as a resident in a nursing home, it might help to hire a Forest Park medication errors lawyer. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation to answer your questions.
Understanding Medication Errors
Medication errors can appear in many different ways, all of which can result in devastating consequences. QJM: An International Journal of Medicine states that medication errors are events where a patient is harmed by inappropriate medication while they are under the care or control of a nursing home facility.
There are many ways in which a medication error may occur and result in catastrophic or deadly consequences for a nursing home resident.
Medication Errors and Nursing Homes
One of the primary responsibilities of a nursing home is to ensure that elderly residents receive their medication properly according to their established care plan. The Code of Federal Regulations Statute §483.45 pertaining to pharmacy services requires that nursing home medication error rates remain under 5%. The statute also requires that nursing homes have no significant medication errors. Some of the examples of serious medication errors include:
- Providing a resident with the wrong medication
- Injecting medication into the wrong bodily area
- Providing a resident with the wrong dosage of the correct medication
- Prescribing the wrong medication to a resident
- Providing an expired medication to a resident
- Providing medication in an incorrect way (i.e., rolled instead of crushed, whole instead of dissolved, etc.)
- Providing medication at the wrong time or wrong interval
- Using another patient’s medication (“borrowing”) to give to another resident due to shortages
- Diverting (“stealing”) a resident’s medication for personal use and then substituting it with a different, incorrect medication to the resident
- Ignoring a revision to a medication order from a physician
All of the above are examples of medication errors in a nursing home, but there are many ways that a medication error can result in a serious injury or death of an elderly resident in a nursing home. Every nursing home facility has the responsibility to establish protocols to ensure that the proper medication is administered to the residents every time.
If your loved one has been the victim of a medication error in a nursing home, you could be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering through a personal injury claim. If your loved one died from a medication error, you might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. For help with understanding your rights under the law, it may be beneficial to hire a Forest Park medication errors lawyer. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to get started.
Repeated medication errors are found to be more harmful than one-time occurrences, according to a study by The American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy. Among nursing homes that repeatedly had medication errors, 65.1% administered the wrong dose to residents.
Many medication errors may easily go unnoticed by overworked and understaffed nursing homes. The consequence of a medication error can result in not only serious medical injuries and medical complications, but also death.
Administering medications and ensuring that all residents properly take their medications is a time-consuming task, and when nurses and other nursing home employees remain understaffed and overworked, they might rely on shortcuts or simply make errors due to their inability to give the proper time to the medication preparation and distribution.
Additionally, many nursing homes do not fully educate and train their staff employees, despite it being required by Statute 483.95. This leaves the staff unknowledgeable on how to prepare and administer medications in such a way to avoid medication errors. Both understaffing and poor training are evidence that the medication error in a nursing home was a result of negligence.
For a free legal consultation with a Medication Errors Lawyer serving Forest Park, call (800) 794-0444
Awards in Medication Error Cases
If your loved one was a victim of a medication error caused by the nursing home’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation. Some costs you may be able to recover from a medication error lawsuit include compensation for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Medical transportation costs
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
The most severe consequence of medication error is death. If your loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence, you might benefit from filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Costs you might be able to recover through a wrongful death suit include:
- Funeral costs
- Loss of consortium
- Family’s emotional distress
- Hospice bills
These are not full lists of the awards you might be able to recover from a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. You might benefit from consulting an attorney to understand the compensation you deserve.
Forest Park Medication Errors Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Contact a Forest Park Medication Errors Lawyer
If your elderly loved one suffered injuries or even death due to a medication error in a nursing home, you have the right to seek compensation on their behalf. Contact a member of our Pintas & Mullins Law Firm team today to help you determine how to legally hold the nursing home facility responsible for the injuries or death of your elderly loved one.