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Nursing Home
Medication Errors

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Dedicated Chicago Attorneys Fighting for Victims of Nursing Home Medication Errors

The distribution of medication at a nursing home is one of the most important procedures of the day. With all of the possible allergic reactions or overdose scenarios, one can imagine why responsible nursing homes pay extra close attention when disseminating patient medication. But, not all nursing homes and nursing home employees pay the same amount of close attention.

In fact, studies cited by the Nursing Home Abuse Guide suggest that as much as 37 percent of medical errors (which are experienced by roughly one in every five nursing home residents) involved medication errors. While these errors may seem like simple mistakes, they can lead to devastating health risks. The Guide also determines that there are four major categories among medication errors:

  • Knowledge Based Errors – For example, when a staff member is unaware of a patient’s medication allergy.
  • Rule Based Errors – For example, when a nurse or staff member confuses or disregards a nursing home medication regulation or standard best practices regarding medication (due to lack of training, or simply negligence).
  • Action Based Errors – For example, when a staff member “slips” up in grabbing the wrong medication container, recording the wrong medication on the patient log, or misreading the prescription.
  • Memory Based Errors – For example, when a nurse or physician issues medication, but forgets to record it properly. This error could then result in another staff member also issuing medication.

While it is clear that not all of these types of medication errors involve malicious intent on the part of the nursing home staff, most do involve some degree of negligence, under-training, over-working, or just generally not paying close enough attention to one’s duties. Often, these mistakes can be indicative of larger administrative, personnel, or training concerns at the nursing home.

Health care professionals are responsible for the lives of these patients, and they are accountable for any mistake under their care. Listed below is further information pertaining to the causes, types, and consequences of medication errors in nursing homes.

Causes of Nursing Home Medication Errors

Communication errors are common and can result in medication errors among patients (refer to the four types of medication errors mentioned above). Depending on the size of the nursing home, there could be tens or hundreds of prescriptions to distribute, so confusing one name with someone else is always a possibility. But, in this scenario, it is not just a simple mistake; it could result in serious injury and death. If this does happen to you or a loved one, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer in Aurora. An expert attorney will use his or her legal resources to hold the staff member and nursing home accountable.

Types of Medication Errors in Nursing Homes

Elder care attorneys have represented clients who suffered from a variety of medication errors, including missed doses, overdoses/under-doses, medicating the wrong patient, and medicating with the wrong product. In reality, there are several types of medication errors that can occur; but, they all have negative effects and must be addressed appropriately. During your consultation with an Aurora nursing home abuse lawyer, he or she can speak with you about the type of medication error that occurred, and how best to hold the responsible medical professional accountable for the error.

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