Medication errors in nursing homes

| Mar 23, 2021 | Medical Malpractice |

A nursing home staff must be organized, responsible and detail-oriented to provide the care and attention needed by elderly residents. Whether they are preventing slips, falls or wandering, the staff must remain attentive. Additionally, residents might require restraints to prevent injuries or help changing positions to prevent bed sores from forming. In all situations, the nursing home staff must be well-trained and professional.

Unfortunately, numerous scenarios exist where residents suffer the effects of malnutrition, dehydration or consequences of medication errors. Examples of medication errors can include:

  • Wrong patient
  • Wrong medication
  • Incorrect dosage
  • Adverse drug interactions
  • Use of medication as a chemical restraint
  • Failing to provide food or drink with medication as directed
  • Failing to monitor patient for adverse effects
  • Distributing expired medication

While consequences such as a new illness or worsening condition can be traced back to negligence or inattention, it is not uncommon for medication errors to be the result of poor training. Numerous studies agree that the lack of pharmacological knowledge can be a significant factor in many nursing home injuries. Lack of pharmacological knowledge can lead to confusion regarding:

  • Similar-sounding medication names
  • Similar-looking pill or tablet designs
  • Similar-looking packing

Failure to provide adequate training or detailed instructions can lead to medication errors. The nursing home staff is responsible for ensuring that the correct dosage of the correct medication is given to the correct resident at the correct time. Elderly residents can suffer dramatic, deadly consequences when their medication is mixed up or handled incorrectly. If you worry that a loved one has suffered an injury or worsening condition due to pharmaceutical errors in their nursing home, it is wise to seek the guidance of an experienced legal professional.