Individuals rely on a nursing home staff to provide the care and attention needed to keep elderly residents comfortable and healthy. Unfortunately, whether through inattention, negligence or overt maliciousness, a staff might make medication errors that directly lead to an illness or a worsening condition.
In some instances, nursing home abuse can be tracked to simple errors that can be alleviated through training or corrective action. Other times, however, a medication error can be a red flag regarding systemic issues.
Factors that may influence medication errors
Elderly nursing home residents typically rely on a variety of medications to control numerous conditions. A nursing home staff must keep a fairly rigid schedule and maintain a complex calendar of who gets what when. Unfortunately, numerous factors can lead to deadly errors, including:
- Lack of therapeutic training
- Inadequate drug knowledge and experience
- Inadequate knowledge of the patient
- Inadequate perception of risk
- Overworked or fatigued health care professionals
- Failures in communication
The final point is intriguing as communication mishaps can come at nearly every turn. Whether the communication is coming from the doctor, the facility supervisor, the warnings on the medication label or instructions given to the patient, these errors can be severe.
Errors in prescribing or administering medications not only prevent the suppression or correction of symptoms the patient is suffering, but can also lead to additional conditions by introducing dangerous drug interactions. If you fear your elderly loved one is struggling in a nursing home because of a medication error, it is wise to seek the counsel of a skilled personal injury attorney who can provide the legal guidance you need.