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How to Prevent Medication Errors in Nursing Homes

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

rockford nursing home injury lawyerIn Illinois and across the country, nursing homes are seeing a rising number of residents suffer injuries and health problems due to medication errors. Families who cannot properly care for their elderly loved ones on their own often rely on nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to properly and compassionately attend to them instead. When their loved one’s health fails due to negligent or abusive care, it is critical to work with legal professionals who can represent your loved one’s case. 

What Are The Dangers of Medication Errors?

It is very common for nursing home residents to take prescription medication. Unfortunately, nursing homes are notoriously understaffed, and this is a leading cause of medication errors in long-term care facilities. Commonly occurring errors include providing the resident with expired medications, administering the wrong dosage of medication, and neglecting to monitor the resident following administration.

When mistakes occur during medication administration to a nursing home resident, serious and sometimes fatal consequences can arise. An individual who suffers a medication error may experience unexpected medical complications, reduced immune response, malnutrition and dehydration, and organ failure. Medication errors can also lead to fatalities.

How Can Staff Help to Prevent Medication Errors?

Tired, overworked employees tend to make mistakes. With this often being the case across nursing home facilities, medication errors are a real danger to residents. There are specific precautions staff members should take if they are administering medication to a resident. Some of these precautions include:

  • Make sure to administer the medication to the correct resident. While this may seem obvious, it is fairly common and can result in serious injury.

  • Make sure to administer the correct medication. This is often seen in cases when two drugs are similar in spelling or sound. 

  • Make sure to administer the correct dosage of medication. It is important to assess the amount of the medication the resident needs in order to avoid under-or overdosing the resident.

  • Make sure to administer the medication at the correct time. Administering medication at the right time of day greatly affects the effectiveness of the drug.

  • Make sure to administer the medication via the correct means. The method of administering the medication is important to the effectiveness of the drug as well. 

Contact Our Rockford Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

Medication errors in elderly individuals can be difficult to discover and identify. If you suspect your loved one’s injury or death was due to nursing home negligence, the pursuit of justice may seem complex and intimidating. However, an experienced Winnebago County nursing home abuse attorney is capable of investigating your case and advocating for the rights of you and your loved one. To learn more about how Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of KJS can help, set up a free consultation. Call 815-215-7561 today.

 

Source:

https://psnet.ahrq.gov/perspective/medication-safety-nursing-homes-whats-wrong-and-how-fix-it

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