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Los Angeles Nursing Home Medication Error Lawyers
Experienced advocacy when California nursing homes are responsible for medication mistakes
Seniors 60 and older take many different medications to control heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and many other health disorders. These medications need to be reviewed for possible adverse interactions and side effects. Each medication has its own dosage requirement and time for taking requirements. Los Angeles nursing home staff need to ensure each medication is given in the correct way – such as with liquids.
At Garcia & Artigliere, our Los Angeles nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers have helped thousands of people obtain more than $3 billion in recoveries. Many of our clients are seniors and the families of seniors. Our California lawyers understand the protocols that nursing homes must follow to ensure medications are being administered as prescribed. We work with the senior’s doctors, our own network of doctors, and pharmacists to show that the nursing home had a duty to provide medications competently and made mistakes that caused harm to the resident or caused death. We seek all damages that California law permits.
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What are the different types of medication errors in Los Angeles?
Common medication administration errors in Los Angeles nursing homes include:
- Giving the resident the incorrect medication or not giving the resident the proper medication
- Giving the incorrect dosage – too little or too much
- Giving the medication at the wrong time – such as in the morning when the medication should be given at night
Examples of medication errors include:
- Failing to give the resident liquids to help with swallowing the pills
- Cutting, splicing, or crushing medications when they should be taken whole – or vice-versa
- Failing to read the instructions such as whether medications should be taken with or without antacids or food
- Failing to give the medications intravenously or through a feeding tube if appropriate
- Failing to use eyedrops or failing to ensure the eye drops are absorbed for the correct amount of time
- Failing to prepare insulin properly
- Using an incorrect form – such as extended-release medications or immediate-release medications
- Not inspecting the resident to make sure he/she swallows the medications
- Not considering any possible reactions
Los Angeles nursing home staff who administer medications to residents should also:
- Record which medications were given, when they were given, and whether there were any reactions of concern
- Monitor the resident for a while after the medications are taken
- Never give medications beyond their expiration date
- Never give medications for the improper time duration. For example, residents normally need to finish any course of antibiotic treatment once the treatment is started
What are the causes of medication errors in Los Angeles nursing homes?
At Garcia & Artigliere, our Los Angeles medication error lawyers understand the safety procedures that must be implemented and followed to ensure medication errors don’t happen – and that prompt and effective steps are taken if a mistake is made.
Some of the many types of medication mistakes we look for and review include:
- Failing to administer the medications as described above.
- Understaffing. When there are not enough qualified staff, it’s likely that the remaining qualified staff members will be tired which increases the risk of medication mistakes.
- Failing to have an individual care plan for each resident which includes the resident’s medication requirements and any known risks.
- Not determining who, besides a prescribing prescription, can administer medications to a resident. For example, licensed nurses are normally eligible to provide medications if monitored by a physician. California and state licensing boards have specific eligibility requirements.
- Improper storage of medications. For example, some medications require refrigeration.
- Theft. Some staff masters may use the medications for themselves or sell the drugs to others.
- Any distractions
- Any challenges due to the cognitive or physical difficulties of the resident.
Los Angeles nursing homes should work with physicians and pharmacists to ensure medication compliance and proper medication delivery practices. Many nursing homes educate their staff about medication problems and have the staff complete a Med-Pass certification program.
Why are medication mistakes so dangerous?
Medication mistakes can cause severe injuries or deaths. While some medications can be missed on occasion, many medications such as heart medications can be fatal if not given on a daily basis.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the consequences of medication mistakes include the possibility of an adverse reaction to too much of a prescribed medication, the intake of an unprescribed medication, or the failure to receive the correct medication. Some medications can cause serious harm if they interact with other medications. Some adverse reactions such as allergic reactions may necessitate immediate medical care and/or hospitalization.
Los Angeles nursing homes should use the latest technology, such as medication databases, so they have the proper inventory on hand, know which residents have received which medications, understand the exact prescription requirements, and know how to order more medications.
How much is my medication mistake claim worth in California?
Medication errors can have many adverse consequences. Residents take their medications for a reason – to treat specific diseases or disorders, to reduce the risk of the onset of health problems, and to reduce the risk that existing problems may get worse. Many medication errors cause a resident’s health to spiral out of control. Some residents may die if they don’t receive the correct medications.
Our Los Angeles nursing home medication mistake attorneys lawyers demand compensation for a resident’s:
- Medical costs including ER care, hospitalizations, surgeries, physician visits, physical therapy and other rehabilitative care, assistive devices, and medications
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
- Loss of quality of life
If medication mistakes cause the death of a resident, we file wrongful death claims on behalf of the eligible family members. Wrongful death claims in California include the reimbursement of funeral and burial costs, and the financial and personal losses of the family such as the loss of any income or inheritance the decedent would have provided and the loss of emotional comfort the decedent would have provided.
Do you have a Los Angeles nursing home abuse or neglect lawyer near me?
Garcia & Artigliere represents seniors and families when Los Angeles nursing homes make costly medical errors that worsen a resident’s health or cause a resident to die. We’ll help you assert your rights. We’re skilled at holding nursing homes accountable for elder abuse and neglect.
Contact Garcia & Artigliere today to discuss your rights when California nursing homes make medication mistakes
Medication administration is a common priority in every nursing home. Medications help to make pain more comfortable, control diseases, and extend lives. Nursing homes have a duty to ensure their residents receive the correct prescription medicines at the correct times and in the correct amounts. Safety protocols should be standard across the nursing home and specific for each resident.
At Garcia & Artigliere, our Los Angeles nursing home medication error lawyers have been strong advocates for the elderly since 1993. To assert your rights and the rights of your loved one, call or contact us for a free, confidential case evaluation today. We maintain additional offices in Long Beach, Louisville, New Orleans and Phoenix. We represent clients across the United States. We handle nursing home abuse and neglect cases on a contingency fee basis.
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