Medication errors are committed when the patient receives the wrong dosage of medication or the wrong medication altogether. Errors in administering medication are careless and there is no excuse for the oversight.
Studies have shown that medication errors contribute to nearly 600,000 deaths from 2002 to 2004. The study also suggests that many methods of medication error prevention won’t successfully prevent injuries and deaths from medical errors.
Treatment for Medication Errors
Because even treatment for medication errors may not successfully prevent injuries and deaths from resulting, the “best medicine” is to prevent any errors from occurring in the first place. Careful monitoring of patients’ drug intake, accurate records regarding each patient’s prescription drugs and accurate administration of prescription drugs by nursing home staff will eliminate medication errors from occurring.
Of course, make sure the patient is treated for the medication error.
Medication errors can be deadly. Accordingly, you should notify the nursing home of medication errors committed by the nursing home employees. Also, contact Adult Protective Services (APS). APS helps elder adults (65 years and older) and dependent adults (18 to 64 years old who are disabled) who are victims of abuse or neglect. A list of Adult Protective Services’ contact information organized by California counties is provided here.
Lastly, contact your local ombudsman regarding the particular instance(s) of medication errors. You can call their Crisis line at 1-800-231-4024 or visit the California Department of Aging website for a list of county ombudsman phone numbers in California.
What are the Common Causes of Medication Errors?
Medication errors committed in nursing home settings stems from the administration of medication by nursing home staff. Many nursing homes refuse to spend money to equip their facility with computerized dispensing systems and instead rely on their staff to properly administer correct dosages of medications to their patients. Yet, all too often, staff members are improperly trained, overworked, or unqualified for the positions they hold. This is coupled with the fact that many nursing home patients receive numerous medications on a daily basis, which makes correct administration of medication both more vital and also more susceptible to human error. As a result, it is common for staff members to make mistakes in giving out medication to their patients.
Medication errors are also common in nursing homes which lack proper patient assessment, do not adequately monitor the efficacy of the patient’s medication or do not continuously reassess the need for medication.
Contact York Law Firm
If your elderly loved one has been injured due to a medication error, you should speak with an elder abuse attorney right away. The attorneys at York Law Firm are experienced in the field of elder abuse and neglect and can help you obtain the compensation to which your are entitled. Feel free to contact our practice or fill out a free case evaluation.