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Medication & Prescription Errors In Nursing Home

Nursing Home Responsibility

When an elderly patient is admitted to a nursing home, it is the staff’s duty to ensure the patient’s health and everyday needs are met. This responsibility includes everything from preparing meals to administering all medications exactly as prescribed.

Taking care of another person is a difficult task, and certain people need more help than others. The goal of any nursing home should be to extend the life of these elderly patients by providing excellent care to keep them in good health. However, many nursing homes are staffed with untrained, neglectful, and sometimes abusive caretakers, making this highly unlikely.

Medication and Prescription Errors

The errors that occur in regards to medication in nursing homes range from careless or improper administration, to outright negligence. This can result in omission of medication altogether or dangerous overdosing.

There are numerous patients in a nursing home, and therefore, many different medications and schedules that must be followed to administer each dose correctly. Medications can range from eye drops and inhalers to insulin and blood thinners, and the rules that need to be followed regarding each prescription are just as varied.

Generally, the method used to administer every patient’s medication properly and at the correct times is called a “med pass.” Traditionally, a staff member uses a cart to go throughout the home with every patient’s medication and administer each one carefully, while following a strict route and schedule.

Some examples of nursing home medication errors can include not following the med pass route properly, not waiting long enough between puffs while using a medical inhaler, failing to shake, mix, or “roll” certain medications before administration (such as insulin), crushing medications that are not supposed to be crushed, or failing to supply adequate foods or liquids with medications that require such combinations.

Unfortunately, in nursing homes, mistakes are common, and outright negligence or abuse is also a problem. When it comes to medication, some nursing home staff members will take advantage of their patients’ vulnerability and dependency. Examples of neglect include lowering the dosage of medication, administering medication at improper times, or disregarding distribution of them altogether. Expired medication may also be used, and there is a high likelihood of improper monitoring or a complete absence of it altogether after the dosage is administered.

Such medication and prescription errors in nursing homes are a big problem, and can result in both permanent and temporary injuries to patients, as well as death.

How Shea Law Group Can Help

If you have a loved one who has endured serious injury, or suffered death, from medication error(s) or outright neglect in a nursing home, your family is entitled to compensation. Contacting Shea Law Group can get you both the justice and the funds your family rightfully deserves. Call us toll free at 1-888-979-9320, or visit us online to receive a consultation. We don’t collect unless you do, so contact us today and find the support you need.