Unfortunately, a medication error could harm a loved one, and in extreme situations, even result in death.
Prescription medication is vital for most residents in nursing homes. Yet, the elderly are often too physically or mentally disabled to be in charge of taking their own medicines. In most instances, nursing home staff members administer the resident’s medications.
Administering too much or too little medication is a type of medication error. For example, the staff member administering the medication may misread the dosage and give the patient the wrong amount of medication.
Not being aware of all the medications the patient is taking and that one medication can react adversely to another is also a form of medication error. Often patients are no longer competent to answer medical questions due to memory loss, physical illness or medication side effects, such as mental confusion. Medical practitioners can err when relying on a resident to provide accurate information about allergies or medicines they are taking.
Wrong administration methods are another form of medication error that can harm patients. For example, some medications require injections, while others require oral administration. Certain medications must be taken orally with a specified amount of liquid.
When a staff member fails to read the instructions for administering the medication, it can adversely affect patients. For example, instructions say to shake or mix the liquid medication before administering. If the nurse or healthcare aide fails to do so, the patient may suffer from too high or too low a dosage.
Another medical error example is mixing up patients. A nurse passing out medications grabs the wrong medication by mistake and administers someone else’s medication to the patient.
Failing to administer the medication at all is another type of error. For example, during the med pass, a patient could be in the restroom. The nurse fails to inquire and follow up with the patient. Consequently, the patient misses a medication dose. With certain physical conditions, missing a dosage could have serious repercussions.
In order to pursue a nursing home neglect case, the consequences of the error must result in serious harm or death. Nursing home neglect attorneys will obtain the patient's medical records and have a medical expert review and evaluate the medical care. To pursue a case, evidence of negligence must exist, and a medical expert must testify that it is his or her professional opinion that medical negligence occurred.
At Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP , we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your potential case.
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