Nursing Home Medication Errors

A Brief Summary of the Following Article

  • Prevalence: Medication errors are common in nursing homes, more so than in other settings, due to frequent medication needs and the reliance on potentially flawed self-reporting systems.
  • Types: Common medication errors in nursing homes include incorrect drug administration, dosage errors, timing issues, and administering medication to the wrong patient.
  • Prevention: Effective prevention of medication errors requires proper staff training, stringent oversight, and systems for double-checking medication before administration, although many facilities lack these measures.
  • Legal Action: Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. assists victims of nursing home medication errors by handling lawsuits to recover compensation for damages caused by such negligence.
  • If you need assistance contact us today at (215) 822-7575 or visit our contact form.

Medication errors are proving to be a pervasive problem as more information about nursing home errors and abuse comes to light. Unfortunately, medication errors can be very dangerous for nursing home patients and can go unseen for a long time before anyone takes action to correct the problem. 

Because of this, nursing home patients have been hurt because of the negligence of nursing home staff, leading to medication error lawsuits. At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., we help victims and their families take legal action against negligent nursing homes

What Are Medication Errors?

Medication errors occur when there is a mistake in the medication management process, leading to the wrong medication being given to a nursing home resident. Common medication errors include: 

  • Administering the wrong medication
  • Administering the wrong dosage
  • Administering medications at the wrong interval
  • Failing to administer medications at all
  • Administering medication to the wrong patient

In order to prevent medication errors, nursing home staff must be properly trained in medication safety and the administration of medication. There should also be a robust oversight system in place to make sure that staff members are administering medications correctly. Mistakes can happen, but nursing homes should have systems in place to minimize those mistakes. 

By implementing measures to reduce medication errors, such as double-checking medications before administration, nursing care facilities can ensure the safe administration of medication to their residents. Unfortunately, with a lack of oversight and reduced staffing, many nursing homes fail to maintain the oversight systems needed to prevent medication errors. 

How Common Are Medication Errors in Nursing Homes?

The administration of medications is a critical aspect of care in these facilities, and medication errors can have serious consequences for residents. However, research shows that medication mistakes are more prevalent in nursing homes compared to other settings given the high number of patients needing medication on a regular basis. 

The true extent of medication errors in nursing homes is not well understood. Many of the systems in place to gauge the problem rely on self-reporting. With the potential for negative consequences for the nursing home, most are not incentivized to participate in studies. 

Liability for Medication Errors in Nursing Homes

When it comes to medication management in nursing homes, the issue of liability for medication errors is a serious concern. Unfortunately, medication errors occur in nursing homes more often than we would like to admit. When an error does occur, there are several parties that can be liable. They include:

  • The provider that administers the medication if there is negligence involved
  • The nursing home itself can be liable if it creates a situation where medication errors routinely occur

When you file a nursing home medication error lawsuit, your lawyer looks into the situation to decide which party to target. The rest of the case is built around this fact, and your lawyer collects evidence to determine which party is legally liable before taking action. 

What Can You Do if a Loved One Suffers From Nursing Home Medication Errors?

When a loved one suffers from nursing home medication errors, it can be a distressing experience for everyone involved. You may be able to file a lawsuit to claim compensation for any damages done to you or your loved one. 

The first thing that you should do is relocate your loved one to a new situation where they can get the medical attention and support that they need. Then, report the incident to the police for investigation. The report can be useful later on and will likely be forwarded to the state organization responsible for investigating nursing home incidents.

Finally, contact a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer who can work on your behalf to file legal claims and recover compensation for you. Make sure that you do not discuss the case with other people, especially those from the nursing home until you discuss it with your lawyer. They can advise you on what to do next and how to move forward without hurting your case. 

Choose the Office of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C.

While you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible, take some time to choose your lawyer. The lawyer that you choose can have a big impact on the rest of your case. At the office of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., we handle nursing home cases, including medication errors and related issues for victims and their families. After years of experience in this field, we have recovered compensation for many clients, which made a difference in their ability to recover and move on to better situations. 
If you are involved in a situation and think you have a case, discuss it with us in a free consultation. Call the team at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. at (215) 822-7575 or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation and see if we can help you or a loved one recover the compensation that you deserve. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing Home Restraint Injury Claims

FAQ: What are some of the signs that can indicate my loved one is suffering from nursing home restraint injuries?

The signs that your loved one is suffering injuries because of the improper use of nursing home restraints can vary based upon the type of restraints involved. Some types of physical restraint will cause bruising or even lacerations if your loved one attempts to fight the restraint. Increased infections or bed sores can be a sign that your loved one is being confined to bed inappropriately. In other cases, changes in mood are the most significant indicators that your loved one is suffering from restraint injuries—the use of restraints can cause a significant loss of dignity, which can lead to depression, weight loss and other serious side effects. When chemical restraints are used, your loved one may seem groggy, confused or display other significant changes in personality.

FAQ: What if the nursing home says that they had to use the restraints to protect the safety of my loved one?

While restraints may be a temporary fix, they are almost never a long-term solution—which is why Pennsylvania law requires a doctor’s recommendation in addition to ongoing reevaluation of whether the restraints remain appropriate. In many cases, extra care on the part of the nursing home staff can effectively prevent your loved one from suffering from falls or becoming agitated. Simple activities or additional companionship can solve some problems, and appropriate changes in a resident’s medications may also help. In cases where restraints are necessary, they should be administered correctly in accordance with a doctor’s orders to avoid any type of resulting injury.