Nursing Home Medication Errors

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There is a certain amount of trust involved when you place a loved one in a nursing home to receive regular care. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for there to be nursing home medication errors, whether it is intentional or unintentional.

You may have a case if you have realized that your loved one is not getting the care they need. Contact us today at Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm to speak with a qualified nursing home abuse attorney in Greenville, SC.

Types of Nursing Home Medication Errors

Giving out medication is one of the most important types of care nursing homes provide for residents. If the medical staff fails to give the medication correctly, this can have serious consequences for a resident’s health.

Here are some examples of common nursing home medication errors:

  • Not following instructions: Medical staff may split pills that are not supposed to be crushed or give the incorrect dosage. This could also include providing the medication with or without food.
  • Failing to prepare medication: Some medications require shaking or mixing before being provided to the resident. If it is not properly mixed or prepared, the resident may get too much or too little of the medication.
  • Mixing medications: Many medications have to be taken on their own, or with another drug to work. These instructions should be provided and followed to the letter, and there’s the potential for medical malpractice if the care provider fails to do so.

When Does Nursing Home Medication Malpractice Happen?

It is not uncommon for nursing home medication errors to become more serious. Medication malpractice can be categorized as nursing home abuse.

Medication malpractice often involves improper actions like over-medicating residents, which can be dangerous. Or, the nursing home may be withholding medication as a form of punishment.

In some situations, the care providers may give medication to different residents than the prescribed ones. They may mismanage medications, resulting in shortages when residents need them.

Implications of Nursing Home Medication Errors

Not only is it ethically wrong for nursing homes to continue to let medication errors occur, but it is also dangerous. Residents are prescribed medications for specific health reasons and may require that medication to treat life-threatening conditions.

Medications can also be very harmful if the directions are not followed and administered safely. A resident could overdose if they are given too much of their medication or the care providers aren’t keeping track of when they last administered the medication.

Who is Liable for Medication Errors?

If you believe your loved one is not being cared for correctly, you may have a nursing home abuse case on your hands. Nursing homes are operated by a wide scale of people, so fault could fall on a few or many individuals responsible for your loved one’s medications.

The doctor

The doctor who prescribed the medication to the resident may be at fault. They may not have taken the resident’s medical history into account or the risks of medications interacting with other drugs.

Prescribing medications that do not suit the patient’s individual needs could result in the doctor being liable for the error.

Nurses and other care professionals

The primary medical professionals caring for residents in nursing homes are the nurses and care providers. These are the people who administer the medication, so it is not rare for the fault to fall on them.

The nurses and care providers could be held responsible if they mishandled or administered medications. They could be at fault for errors due to their negligence, miscommunication or distraction.

The nursing home’s staff

Responsibility might fall on the nursing home if it does not have systems in place to protect the patients. For example, it may not have an adequate, organized medication storage system, resulting in the risk of spoiling.

The nursing home may also have failed to provide adequate training or hired a staff member that was inexperienced with correctly handling medication.

The pharmacists

In rare instances, pharmacists may be responsible for medication errors. The pharmacist may have given the incorrect drug prescription or did not provide accurate instructions.

Hire a Reputable Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today

When you put your loved one in a nursing home, you expect a certain level of care and responsibility from the facility and staff. The reality is that residents aren’t always cared for as they should be, and there could be abuse in the form of medication issues.

If you suspect there have been medication errors that harmed your loved one in a nursing home, contact us today at Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm. You can call us at (864) 280-7660 or use our online contact form for a free case evaluation with our attorney.

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