Many of the individuals living in a nursing home facility are often required to take certain medications to treat the medical conditions they suffer from. Now, it is important that these individuals receive the medications they are supposed to and at the time of day their doctor has instructed to ensure their health is never put in jeopardy and that they aren’t suffering from any pain or discomfort that is generally associated with their condition. Unfortunately, there are some nursing homes that are understaffed or have employees who aren’t always as concerned as they should be with how and when they administer a medication to a resident which often results in mistakes being made.
Some common types mistakes that are made that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services considers to be a “medication error” include:
- A patient being given the wrong medication. This can have an adverse effect on a resident’s health and can potentially lead to them suffering injuries. On the other hand, if they aren’t administered the right medication, their condition goes untreated which can lead to it worsening.
- Administering the wrong dosage. Giving a resident too much or too little of any medication can also have an adverse effect on their health and either worsen their condition or leave it untreated.
- Failing to shake up the medication. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid State states that “this may lead to an under does or overdose depending on the drug product and the elapsed time since the last “shake.”
- Crushing medications that should not be crushed.
The reality is, many of the adverse events that occur after a medication error was made could have been prevented. Aside from a facility being understaffed, some other reasons why medication errors are made in nursing homes include:
- Sometimes, there is a miscommunication between the facility and the resident’s treating physician.
- The resident is in transition between the nursing home and the emergency room or the hospital and their medication regime is mixed up. Unfortunately, there are times when a nursing home resident must be transported to the hospital when their condition worsens, or they engaged in an accident such as a slip and fall and require immediate medical attention. During this time when they are constantly being moved around and placed under the care of various health care workers is when medication errors are likely to occur.
[Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services].
Now, although being a nursing home staff member isn’t exactly the easiest of jobs, especially when an employee is required to administer multiple medications to various residents, these employees are required to abide by state and federal regulations and are subject to consequences when they neglect to do so. Sadly, many workers fail to report when a medication error is made which doesn’t accurately depict how serious the issue actually is. That is why it is up to friends, family members, and other staff workers to report a case of a medication mistake when they witness one occur or notice signs that indicate a resident isn’t getting the medication they need.
If you know someone who has suffered an injury due to a medication mix-up in a nursing home in Chicago or have a loved one who isn’t being administered their medication in the manner that they should, contact USAttorneys.com to get connected with a local nursing home abuse lawyer in Chicago, IL. They can help you become more aware of what regulations nursing homes are required to abide by when a medication error is made and what forms of action you can take against them when you can prove they have, in fact, made a mistake.