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Nursing Home Medication Error Lawyers
Holding nursing homes accountable for medication mistakes
Most elderly residents take several medications to protect their heart and their blood pressure level, to fight diabetes or arthritis, to manage their pain, or for many other reasons. The medications need to be taken at the correct times in the right dosages. Nursing homes have a duty to ensure their nurses and staff have the proper medications for each resident and that the medications are given when the resident needs them.
At Garcia & Artigliere, our nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys have helped consumers across America, including residents of nursing homes, obtain more than $3 billion in damages. We understand the procedures and regulations that nursing homes must file to ensure their residents have the medical care they need including the safe administration of patient medications. We work with the resident’s doctors and independent doctors to show what medication errors were made and the consequences, often deadly, for those medication failures. Our nursing home medication errors lawyers demand that nursing homes pay full compensation to the victims and their families for their medication negligence.
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What are examples of medication mistakes?
Medication mistakes commonly include:
- Giving a nursing home resident the wrong medication or not giving the resident the prescribed medication.
- Giving the wrong dosage – too much or too little.
- Not giving the resident the proper medication at the correct time – for example in the evening when a resident should have his/her dosage in the morning.
Examples of medication mistakes include:
- Cutting pills, tablets, or capsules that shouldn’t be cut, split, or crushed.
- Not providing liquids with the medications.
- Not reviewing whether the medication should be taken with or without food and with or without antacids.
- Failure to follow proper procedures if medication is required to be given through a feeding tube or intravenously.
- Not using eye drops if required and not ensuring that the drops, if required, are absorbed for the proper length of time.
- Not using the correct form. Some drugs are designed for immediate release while others are designed for extended release. Insulin needs to be prepared properly.
- Not making sure the resident actually swallows the prescribed medications.
- Not considering the possible liver and kidney reactions.
- Not following directions.
Other medication errors include:
- Not documenting what medications were given to which resident and at what times.
- Not monitoring the resident after the medications are taken.
- Giving medications that are past their expiration date.
- Giving a resident the wrong dosage.
- Not administering the medication correctly.
- Giving the medications for the improper duration. For example, antibiotics generally need to be taken until the prescribed amount is completely consumed by the resident.
Why do medication mistakes happen in nursing homes?
Many medication errors happen because nursing homes are understaffed. This means that the remaining nursing staff and staff members with the authority to give a resident his/her medications are more likely to be tired. Fatigue increases the risk of mistakes.
Nursing homes must follow procedures including reviewing who is qualified to give a resident his/her medications besides a physician. Medications are generally given by licensed nurses. Specific laws and medical regulations need to be followed for other healthcare providers to give a resident his/her medications. Normally, non-healthcare providers cannot give a resident his/her medications.
Some of the other reasons nursing homes may be responsible for medication errors include:
- A staff member steals the medication and uses the medication himself/herself or sells the medication to others.
- A staff member ignores or fails to follow the medication prescription requirements.
- The medications are improperly stored.
- There is poor management of the different medications for all the residents of the facility who need medications.
- The person who is giving the medication to the nursing home resident is distracted.
The nursing home staff should work with physicians and pharmacists who are experienced in treating older patients. Most nursing homes train their staff about medication issues and have the staff complete a Med-Pass certification program.
What are the dangers of medication errors in nursing homes?
If residents fail to take their medications in the proper amounts at the proper times, they’re not given the correct medication, or they’re given the wrong medication; the consequences can be quite severe – especially if the mistakes are repeated.
A major consequence of medication mistakes is the possibility of an adverse reaction to an unprescribed medication or to too much of a prescribed medication. Some drugs can cause serious harm if they are combined with other drugs. Some adverse reactions may require immediate medical care and/or hospitalization. For example, a resident may have an allergic reaction.
Nursing homes need to ensure the medications are properly stored. The nursing home should have a database to keep track of every resident’s medication needs. The medication information should be legible.
How much are nursing home medication mistake claims worth?
Medication mistakes can make existing health disorders worse. While some mistakes may be correctible, many mistakes cause a resident’s health to spiral downward. In the worse cases, a resident dies if he/she doesn’t receive the correct medications.
Our nursing home medication mistake lawyers demand compensation for a resident’s:
- Medical expenses including hospitalizations, surgeries, doctor visits, rehabilitative care, medications, and assistive devices
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Loss of quality of life
If a resident dies due to medication mistakes, we file wrongful death claims on behalf of the spouse and other eligible family members. Wrongful death claims include compensation for the funeral and burial costs, the loss of any financial support the decedent would have provided, and the loss of emotional support permitted by state law.
Do you have a nursing home abuse or neglect lawyer near me?
Garcia & Artigliere represents seniors when nursing homes make costly medical mistakes. We fight for families when a loved one dies due to medication mistakes. We’ll answer all your questions, help your address your medical needs, and work aggressively to hold the nursing home and any other responsible parties liable for the harm medical errors cause.
Call Garcia & Artigliere today to assert your rights when nursing homes make medication mistakes
Nursing homes know that most if not all of their residents need medications to manage pain, control diseases, and prolong their lives. Long-term care facilities also know or should know the protocols for which staff members can give the medications to the residents and the safety measures necessary to ensure that mistakes in dosage or timing do not occur and the resident receives the correct medication.
At Garcia & Artigliere, our nursing home medication error lawyers have been fighting for seniors for 30 years. To assert your rights when nursing homes make medication errors, call or contact our offices now for a free, confidential consultation. We’re a national law firm with offices in California, Louisiana, and Arizona. There are no upfront costs and no attorney fees unless we win.
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