Illinois nursing homes are under fire for improperly distributing medications to patients—these medication errors ultimately led to increased hospitalizations, according to an NBC 5 report.

Hospitalizations for medication errors since 2011 have been for conditions like low blood sugar, visual hallucinations and labored breathing. One resident had an untreated infection that ultimately led to an amputation.

Health inspectors found 384 medication errors—and two resulting deaths—following these Illinois nursing homes’ negligence. Many are now planning to take legal action with the help of medical malpractice and nursing home lawyers, the report said.

medication-errors-in-nursing-homes

What Are Medication Errors?

Medication errors are any mistakes that occur when someone prepares or administers medicine to patients. Medication errors also include any distribution of medication that goes against the manufacturer’s instructions or the doctor’s orders.

Minor medication errors do happen, but ideally, nursing home residents should not have to worry about any serious complications when they take their medicine.

Nursing homes aim to keep their medication error rate below 5 percent, but, currently, Illinois’ medication error rate is at 9 percent. Still, the FDA reviews 1,400 reports per month for medication errors, including nursing home medications. Those kinds of numbers can be frightening to anyone with a loved one in a nursing home who takes medication.

What To Do When Medication Errors Occur

When nursing homes commit medication errors, you may be scared and not know where to turn. Many hospitals and nursing homes are working to switch to automated medication dispensers to prevent any incorrect medication distribution, but others still rely on manual distribution.

If you suspect a hospital or nursing home may be giving someone you know the wrong medication for their medical problems—or failing to give them the medication that they need—ask questions. If your loved one is in a nursing home, increase your visitations, even at unexpected hours, to see how the nurses and staff treat them when you are not normally there, and to see if they act differently due to medication errors.

To make sure you or your loved one get the monetary compensation and due process you need in Illinois, a nursing home or medical malpractice lawyer can help you get your legal case started. Here, a lawyer will help you gather information for your case, like who distributed the improper medicine, why the error occurred and how much of this incorrect medication the staff distributed.

At Malman Law, we will fight to get you what you need from your medication error case.

Our download on medical malpractice can help you learn more about what to do.