Medication Errors in Nursing Homes

Compassionate California Elder Abuse Attorneys

After making the difficult decision to place your loved in a nursing home, you should not have to worry about whether they are receiving the proper care and attention. You trust the nursing home facility to provide the care that you could not. Sadly, nursing home abuse is not uncommon. Although it can take many forms, one common form of negligence in nursing homes is medication error.

Medication error can be defined as any administration of medication that does not comply with:

1. Physician’s orders

2. Manufacturer's specifications regarding the preparation and administration of the drug or biological

3. Accepted professional standards and principles that apply to professionals providing services. Accepted professional standards and principles include the various practice regulations in each State, and current commonly accepted health standards established by national organizations, boards, and councils.

The nurses and administrators in a nursing home have the responsibility of properly distributing medication to the patient. The standard method is called “med pass.” This process involves the nurses measuring the proper dose of medication, placing it on a cart, and taking it to the patients from room to room. There is a clear schedule that must be adhered to. However, having many patients can be overwhelming and the nurse might make significant mistakes.If that is the situation, contact our elder abuse lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP.

Common Medication Errors

As an individual gets older, medication might be a necessary factor in maintaining their health. It is vital that the elderly receive the proper treatment. That is why nursing home facilities are only allowed a 5% error rate. Anything above will result in a deficiency citation and warrant an inspection from the state.

Some medication errors that occur include:

  • Not shaking medication that are labeled “shake well”
  • Improper insulin administration
  • Crushing medication that are specially made to be taken whole
  • Not providing or monitoring appropriate fluids with the medicine
  • Allowing patients to swallow sublingual tablets, that must be placed under the tongue

Medication Malpractice by Nursing Home Staff

There are many reasons why a medication error can occur. It might be human error, a mistake on the pharmacist’s part, not following procedures, or more. But as licensed practitioners nurses and nursing home administrators have an obligation to provide diligent and effective care for your loved ones. If they do not adhere to regulations, they may be liable of committing staff medication malpractice.

This malpractice includes:

  • Ignoring medication instructions and orders
  • Stealing medication
  • Failing to manage medicine properly

Don’t Let Your Loved Experience Nursing Home Abuse

When it comes to taking care of the elderly, it should be the top priority of a nursing home. If you believe that the nurses and staff are improperly administering medication to your loved one, contact our California elder abuse lawyers. We can review your case and help come up with a plan to pursue justice.

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