Adverse drug events (ADEs) in a nursing home setting are common, dangerous, and often preventable. They cause around 1.3 million emergency room admissions and 350,000 people being hospitalized every year, according to findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An ADE is an injury due to a harmful reaction caused by taking medication. The effect can develop over time or could happen following a single administration of a drug.
Nursing home residents are particularly at risk due to their frailty, difficulties with communication, and because they often have a variety of health conditions that necessitate being prescribed multiple medications. The consequences of ADEs can range in severity from skin rashes to liver failure—and in some tragic cases, death. Negligent harm typically stems from:
- ADE injuries and health conditions resulting from the use of a drug.
- Medication errors in prescribing, dispensing, administering or monitoring that cause ADE-related injury, illness, disease or death.
- Abuse from administering drugs not medically required by the resident.
If your loved one has suffered an injury, condition, or has tragically died from an ADE you believe was caused by the negligence of a medical professional, you might want to speak to the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. You may be entitled to pursue compensation.
The Devastating Consequences of Medical Negligence
According to the Mayo Clinic, a medication error is defined as “preventable events due to the inappropriate use of medications.” An example is taking an over-the-counter product that contains the same ingredient as one of your prescription drugs, potentially causing an accidental overdose.
When elderly residents are administered multiple prescription drugs without proper diagnosis, evaluation, or subsequent monitoring, there is a significant increase in the likelihood of unfavorable drug interactions, toxicity, and other harmful side effects presenting. The consequences can be devastating, presenting as:
- Increased risk of falls or fractures
- Cognitive impairment
- Physical decline
- Heart and other organ failure, causing permanent damage
- Pressure sores
- Dermatologic or allergic reaction
- Behavioral problems such as anxiety, agitation or depression
A study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) describes ADEs as “one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in health care,” adding that up to 98,000 deaths happen each year from medical mistakes, not to mention over 2 million serious ADRs in hospitalized patients. This crisis in health care shows no signs of slowing. Common mistakes include:
- Administering the wrong drug to the wrong patient.
- Giving an improper dose of a medicine to a resident.
- Poorly documented medical charts, increasing the risk of overdosing or double dosing.
- Incorrect labeling on containers.
- Drugs administered incorrectly due to inadequate staff training.
- Misuse of drugs such as chemical restraints.
- Inaccurate or incomplete medical information during a new resident intake leading to error.
- Understaffing problems leading to mistakes when administering medication.
- Inadequate monitoring of a resident’s drug regimen resulting in harm.
- More than one doctor prescribes medication without cross-communication.
If you suspect a loved one has suffered harm due to an error in medication, it could be beneficial to seek advice from a New York City polypharmacy lawyer with experience in litigating medical malpractice and nursing home negligence cases.
Polypharmacy in the Elderly Can Cause Needless Suffering
If you suspect the nursing home charged with the care of your loved one has been negligent and caused injury, illness, or death, you could be entitled to pursue compensation.
Medication errors usually fall within the purview of nursing home negligence. However, in some instances, they can be caused by malpractice by the doctor writing the prescription or the pharmacy that dispenses it, so personal injury lawsuits may involve multiple parties. While this opens more channels from which to seek compensation, it adds layers of complexity to the legal process. You will need to provide the necessary evidence to demonstrate who the negligent parties are to prove:
- The negligent party owed a duty of care to your loved one.
- The negligent party breached that duty of care.
- Your loved one suffered harm as a result.
You will also be required to prove the specific details of the injury or illness resulting from the event. If you are concerned that your older loved one has been the victim of nursing home negligence and has suffered due to polypharmacy, you might benefit from a free elderly polypharmacy case review by the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. You may want to call today to find out more about how we could help with your nursing home neglect case for compensation.
For a free legal consultation with a New York City Polypharmacy Lawyer serving New York City, call (800) 794-0444
How a New York City Polypharmacy Lawyer Can Help
It can be heartbreaking to discover your loved one has suffered needlessly at the hands of those entrusted to provide a high standard of care. Still, you do have options, and a polypharmacy attorney may be able to help to make things right. They will strive to protect your loved one’s rights through potential financial recovery for the following:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Pain, suffering, and inconvenience
- Emotional trauma
- Relocation costs to move your loved one to another care facility
- Funeral and burial costs in the case of wrongful death
Additionally, a nursing home neglect attorney may be able to help you prove who the negligent parties are by investigating what went wrong and collecting the evidence required to bring your case to a resolution.
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Contact a Polypharmacy Attorney in New York Today
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm stands ready to help if you or a loved one has experienced abuse or neglect in a nursing home. We are prepared to answer any of your questions or any other concerns you may have about elder neglect or abuse resulting from polypharmacy errors.
Under state law, you only have a certain amount of time to file a claim—generally starting from the date that the injury was discovered. Other exceptions could affect your rights under the statute of limitations. You may want to reach out today to speak to a member of our team.