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Long Beach Nursing Home Attorneys Handling Medication Errors
Holding nursing homes and assisted living facilities responsible for medication mistakes in California
For elderly individuals residing in nursing homes, proper medication management is of utmost importance to maintain their health and well-being. However, medication errors can pose serious risks and consequences, jeopardizing the safety and quality of life of these vulnerable residents.
At Garcia & Artigliere, we recognize the significant impact of medication errors in nursing homes and are dedicated to advocating for the rights of those who have suffered harm due to such negligence. Our experienced team of Long Beach nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys is committed to holding negligent parties accountable and seeking justice for the victims and their families. If your loved one has been affected by a medication error in a California nursing home, we are here to help you navigate through this challenging journey and pursue the compensation they deserve.
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What are medication mistakes?
Medication mistakes, also known as medication errors, refer to preventable errors or incidents that occur during the process of prescribing, dispensing, administering, or monitoring medications. These mistakes can happen in various healthcare settings, including nursing homes, hospitals, pharmacies, and outpatient clinics. Medication mistakes can involve any step of the medication management process and may result from miscommunication, misinterpretation, or human error. Some common types of medication mistakes include:
- Wrong medication. Administering or dispensing the wrong medication to a patient.
- Incorrect dosage. Giving a medication in the wrong dose (either too much or too little).
- Omission. Failing to administer a scheduled dose of medication.
- Drug-drug interactions. Failing to identify and avoid potential interactions between multiple medications, which can lead to harmful effects.
- Drug-food interactions. Overlooking interactions between medications and certain foods or beverages, which can affect the drug's effectiveness or cause adverse effects.
- Mislabeling. Incorrectly labeling medications, leading to confusion during administration.
- Illegible prescriptions. Prescribing medications with unclear handwriting, which can lead to incorrect dispensing or administration.
- Allergy errors. Administering medication to a patient with known allergies or sensitivities to the drug.
- Incorrect route of administration. Giving a medication through the wrong route (e.g., intravenous instead of oral).
Medication mistakes can have serious consequences, ranging from mild side effects to severe adverse reactions, hospitalization, or even death. Healthcare providers need to implement safety protocols, double-check procedures, and communicate effectively to prevent these errors and ensure patient safety.
What are the dangers of medication mistakes?
Medication mistakes in nursing homes can be very dangerous, and they can lead to serious harm or even death. Some of the dangers of medication mistakes in nursing homes include:
- Adverse drug events. This is when a medication causes an unexpected or unwanted reaction. Adverse drug events can range from mild to severe, and they can even be fatal.
- Overdose. This is when a resident is given too much medication. Overdose can cause several serious health problems, including seizures, coma, and death.
- Underdose. This is when a resident is not given enough medication. Underdose can make a resident's condition worse, and it can also lead to serious health problems.
- Interactions. This is when two or more medications interact with each other and cause a harmful reaction. Medication interactions can be very dangerous, and they can even be fatal.
In addition to these dangers, medication mistakes can also lead to several other problems, such as:
- Pain. Residents who are not given the correct medication may experience pain, which can make their condition worse.
- Discomfort. Residents who are given the wrong medication may experience discomfort, which can make their stay in the nursing home less enjoyable.
- Distrust. Residents who experience medication errors may distrust the nursing home staff, which can make it difficult for the staff to provide care.
It is important to note that not all medication mistakes will cause harm. However, even minor medication mistakes can have serious consequences, so it is important to take steps to prevent them.
Why do medication mistakes happen in Long Beach, California nursing homes?
There are many reasons why medication mistakes happen in nursing homes. Some of the most common reasons include the following.
- Staff turnover: When there is a lot of staff turnover, it can be difficult to keep track of residents' medications and ensure that they are given correctly.
- Communication problems: Communication problems between staff members can also lead to medication errors. For example, if a doctor orders a change in a resident's medication, but the change is not communicated to the nursing staff, the resident may not receive the correct medication.
- Lack of training: Staff members who are not properly trained in medication administration are more likely to make errors.
- Physical environment: The physical environment of the nursing home can also contribute to medication errors. For example, if the medication storage area is not well-organized, it can be difficult for staff members to find the correct medication.
- Stress: Nursing home staff often work long hours and are under a lot of stress. This can lead to errors, as staff members may be tired or distracted.
It is important to note that not all medication mistakes are preventable. However, by taking steps to address the factors that contribute to medication errors, nursing homes can help to reduce the number of errors that occur.
Nursing homes should be implementing the following to reduce medication errors:
- Communication. Communication between staff members must be improved. This can be done by implementing a system for tracking resident medications and by ensuring that all staff members are aware of any changes in a resident's medication regimen.
- Providing training. Staff members must be properly trained in medication administration. This training should include information on the different types of medications, the correct way to administer medications, and the importance of following the doctor's orders.
- Improving the physical environment. The physical environment of the nursing home should be made safer for medication administration. This can be done by organizing the medication storage area and by providing staff members with the tools they need to administer medications correctly.
- Ensuring compliance. The nursing home must ensure that staff members are following the correct procedures for medication administration. This can be done by conducting regular audits and by providing feedback to staff members who are not following the correct procedures.
- Using technology. Several technological solutions can help to prevent medication errors. These solutions include electronic medication administration records, barcoding, and real-time drug interaction checking.
By taking these steps, nursing homes can help to prevent medication errors and keep their residents safe.
Do you have an attorney who handles nursing home neglect near me?
Garcia & Artigliere has offices at 180 E. Ocean Blvd., Suite 1100, Long Beach, CA 90802.
Experienced California medication error attorneys
Medication mistakes in healthcare settings can have devastating consequences for vulnerable patients, especially those residing in nursing homes. Your loved ones deserve the highest level of care and safety. At Garcia & Artigliere, we are dedicated to advocating for the rights of those who have suffered harm due to medication errors. Call our Long Beach offices or fill out our contact form today.
We only collect attorney fees if we win your case. Our nursing home neglect lawyers also serve families throughout the U.S. from our Louisville, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and New Orleans offices. Our services are available in both English and Spanish.
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