Medication errors are common in nursing homes and may go unreported. If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect due to medication errors like those listed by the Mayo Clinic, consider your situation statistically viable.
Errors in medication administration are systemic, and result in unfair consequences for your loved one. In more serious cases, medication errors can be fatal. This kind of unnecessary risk should not be tolerated and is a worthwhile pursuit for a legal expert. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation on your medication error claim
Reasons a Medication Error Can Occur in a Nursing Home
According to a journal published on Allied Academies, “Nursing staff are involved in medication administration more than other health care professionals and are identified as major contributors to medication errors.” This may be due to a nurse’s lack of background in pharmacy studies, lack of familiarity with drug uses and dosages, and more.
Ignorance is not an excuse for neglect or abuse in a nursing home. In elder abuse, even unintentional neglect or abuse is considered a means of breaking civil rights of nursing home residents. When there are lives at stake, it is important for all necessary staff to have training that could prevent unnecessary deaths.
How Medication Errors Happen
When it comes to errors in medication, as mentioned, there are some systemic issues. When your loved one suffers from a medication mistake, it does not mean that one individual is going to be liable for it. In fact, some of the most common contributing factors to medicine errors involve miscommunication between medical experts.
- Prescriptions are filled verbally, rather than written down.
- Healthcare staff lacks universal understanding of pharmaceutical essentials and communicates them in different ways or not at all.
- Medications are lost, misplaced, or forgotten.
- Drug interactions are not considered or are overlooked.
- Medications are miscommunicated, confused, or both.
- The work environment is stressful, disorganized, or overloaded.
- The nursing home facility lacks oversight or upper-level management.
The lowest common contributing factor to medication errors is the potential for them to happen at all. This is especially important in nursing homes, where medication might not always be administered or monitored by a licensed nurse. In some facilities, a nursing assistant may administer medication with the oversight and approval of a nurse. However, all facilities have different standards for care.
What is considered appropriate in one facility may be unheard of in another. The same can be said about reporting errors in nursing homes: Some facilities are better and more consistent with reporting while others fail to report errors at all, especially if there are negative consequences as an employee who makes a mistake.
Expectations for Nursing Home Employees
Nursing home care is a highly regulated field, with all eyes on service-level staff members. The US National Library of Medicine published a report about nursing home employees who reportedly perform higher-than-usual levels of emotional labor at work. It is a highly public-facing job with lawsuits flying left and right. In order for nursing homes to receive federal funding, the staffing level must be “adequate” in relation to the residents they must provide care for. There is a requirement for one registered nurse to be in attendance at the nursing home at all times, but there is no specific requirement for an attendant-to-attendee ratio for nursing homes. In many cases, the staff working closest with your loved one is not medically licensed. Overall, nursing home staff infamously suffers from:
- Chaotic workplaces
- Unmanageable patient-to-staff ratios
- A lack of higher management
- A lack of nursing-home-specific care training
- High-risk responsibilities with unreflective wages
As you might guess, pursuing a medication error lawsuit against a nursing home can be extremely nuanced. However, do not feel discouraged from how common nursing home fallacies can be. Our medication error attorneys want to bring justice to nursing home residents and their families who suffer from the negligent care of someone else. Contact an Oak Park medication errors lawyer to learn more.
Legal Cases for Nursing Home Errors in Medication
Your lawsuit against a nursing home for errors in medication will likely be a civil case. While some medication errors have devastating consequences, it would not be considered a criminal case unless the medically licensed professional clearly intentionally caused harm to your loved one.
Of course, each case is unique, and should be handled as such. When you work with Pintas & Mullins, we will dissect nursing home law and explain the consequences of elder abuse with your unique case in mind. We will guide you through the litigation process from start to finish, give you a realistic idea of what to expect, and get you the settlement your family deserves.
Pursuing Legal Remedies Against a Nursing Home for Medication Mistakes
When it comes to medication mistakes, you will want to consider cases of negligence that caused personal injury, breach of contract, or medical malpractice. If your loved one passed away because a licensed medical professional was negligent in prescribing or administering medication, your case may be eligible for a wrongful death claim.
Our medication error attorneys can explain the burden of proof, statute of limitations, and expected results of each type of case. We will advise you on your best option and make the process simple for you. All you need to do to begin your case is speak to a member of our legal team.
For a free legal consultation with a Medication Errors Lawyer serving Oak Park, call (800) 794-0444
Contact an Oak Park Medication Errors Lawyer for Help Today
Our nursing home attorneys have your best interests in mind. We know how abuse in a nursing home happens and how to hold liable parties accountable for neglect and abuse of the elderly.
There is no question about it. When you pursue justice for the suffering of your loved one, your family is not the only one that benefits. It sets the standard of care high for nursing home professionals in the future so that fewer people are victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is ready to take on your medication errors case. We work on a contingency fee basis which means you pay nothing out of pocket and nothing up front. Contact us for a free consultation.