Medication Errors In Nursing Homes
Medication Errors At Nursing Homes Can Have Dire Consequences
Errors made when prescribing or administering medications happen at an alarming rate in nursing homes throughout New Mexico. These errors affect patients of all demographics and cognizance levels.
Nursing home staff may administer too much or too little medication or even give a patient the wrong medicine. The consequences range from minimal to fatal, depending on the error and how quickly the patient receives treatment. If your loved one suffered a medication error while under the care of nursing home staff in the Albuquerque area, the attorneys at Berenson & Associates, PC can help.
A Preventable Medication Event
Medication errors are preventable medication events that occur either when the medication is in control of a health care professional or a patient that may cause or lead to patient harm or inappropriate use. Errors in nursing homes often stem from negligent staff and practices.
Medication errors in nursing homes can occur when:
- A doctor prescribes the wrong medication or an unacceptable dosage amount
- A pharmacist or a doctor either forgets about or does not ask a patient about any medication allergies and the prescribed medication causes an allergic reaction
- A doctor fails to review a patient’s complete medical history and the prescribed medication interacts negatively with other drugs taken by the patient
- A nurse or caregiver administers the medication improperly, administers the wrong medication or an incorrect dosage
- The nursing home pharmacy mislabels a patient’s medication
- The nursing home pharmacy provides the wrong medication to either the patient directly or the caregiver in charge of administering the medication to the patient
The problems caused by medication errors compound when nursing home staff fails to diagnose the issue or administer immediate medical treatment.
Holding The Facility Accountable
When a nursing home or care facility fails to have a comprehensively structured and supervised medication administration system, vulnerable patients suffer the consequences. To help you trace the error to the source, it can be helpful to keep a detailed list of the medications and dosages prescribed for your loved one, including when and how the medication needs to be administered.