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IL nursing home abuse lawyerThere are an estimated 1.5 million people living in nursing homes across the United States. Most nursing home residents have significant health concerns, including physical disabilities and mental disabilities, that require daily medication. Residents who do not receive their medications may suffer terrible pain and worsening health conditions. In some cases, a medication error can even cost a vulnerable resident his or her life. If your loved one has suffered in a nursing home due to a medication mistake, speak to a nursing home neglect attorney.

Common Medication Mistakes in Long-Term Care Facilities

Nursing home staff have an ethical duty as well as a legal obligation to provide reasonably competent care to residents. Unfortunately, understaffing, lack of organization, inadequate staff training, and other problems can lead to major medical mistakes. Some of the most common medication errors in nursing homes include:

  • Administering the wrong medication or an incorrect dose of the medication
  • Administering an expired medication
  • Skipping medication doses or administering a dose twice
  • Using a flawed medication administration technique
  • Giving the medication to the resident at the wrong time of day
  • Not following medication directions such as directions requiring the medication to be taken with food
  • Failing to properly mix, shake, roll, or otherwise prepare the medication
  • Inaccurately documenting when the medication was given and what dose was administered
  • Failing to monitor the resident for side effects or other health concerns after giving the medication
  • Failing to verify that a resident actually consumed the medication

Consequences of Medication Errors

When a resident does not receive the medication he or she needs, or even worse, receives a medication that he or she is not supposed to receive, the results can be dramatic. The resident may suffer in severe pain and experience adverse reactions to the medication or lack of medication. Residents with physical and mental incapacities may not be able to express that they are experiencing these symptoms. When a major medication error results in a resident’s injury or death, the resident or his or her loved ones may choose to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against the nursing home. A successful medical malpractice claim can help victims recover compensation while also holding the negligent nursing home facility accountable for the harm caused.

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Illinois nursing home medication mistakes attorneysA person would not be staying in a nursing home if he or she did not have physical or mental health issues that necessitate around-the-clock care. The majority of nursing home residents are on one or more medications in order to manage the symptoms caused by their health issues. When nursing home staff fail to give residents their medications on time or in the correct dosages, serious complications can result. In some cases, medication errors can even result in a resident’s death. If your loved one has suffered because a negligent nursing home facility failed to properly administer medication, you may have a valid personal injury claim.

Medication Mistakes Can Seriously Harm vulnerable Nursing Home Residents

While some minor medication errors may not cause the resident harm, other medication mistakes can cause severe damage. There are federal regulations that prohibit nursing home staff from making serious medication errors. Some of the most concerning nursing home medication-related mistakes include:

  • Giving the resident the wrong medication or mixing up two residents’ medications
  • Improperly administering the medication
  • Giving the resident medicine that is expired or spoiled
  • Administering too much or too little of a medication
  • Prescribing the wrong medication for the resident’s health concern

Why Do Medication Mistakes Occur?

A great deal of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are understaffed. One recent study showed that a deplorable 75 percent of nursing homes do not have enough registered nurses. Working at a nursing home can be grueling work and many nursing home staff are compensated very little for their time and effort. Unfortunately, this means that many facilities have trouble maintaining enough staff to care for residents’ needs. However, this is not an excuse for a nursing home to provide substandard care. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act obliges long-term care facilities to provide adequate medical treatment to residents. When a nursing home fails to uphold its duty to properly care for a resident, the facility may be legally responsible for the damages that result.

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Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect attorneysMore and more individuals are admitted to nursing homes and assisted living facilities every day. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you may worry about the quality of care they are receiving. Because many elderly and disabled nursing home residents are not able to speak up for themselves when they are being mistreated, it is up to their loved ones to ensure they are being adequately cared for.

Nursing home neglect and abuse are tragically not uncommon occurrences. One sign that nursing home residents are being neglected is when they do not receive their medications on time and in the accurate doses. Medication errors are especially dangerous to those with pre-existing medical conditions and compromised immune systems.

Examples of Medication Errors

The administration of medication is not always as simple as giving a nursing home resident a pill and a glass of water. Individuals staying in a nursing home often have serious illnesses or incapacities which make them especially vulnerable. Examples of medication errors which occur in nursing homes include:

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Chicago nursing home medication error lawyerData shows that about 1.5 million individuals are living in nursing homes across the United States. As the “Baby Boomer” generation ages, more and more people will need the intensive care that nursing homes and assisted living facilities offer. It has never been more important for those with loved ones in nursing homes to hold the facility and staff within it responsible for their actions. Many nursing homes are understaffed or have staff members who have not been adequately trained. This can result in the residents receiving poor care and consequently worsened medical conditions. One way inadequate staff put residents at risk is through medication errors.

Fragile Health Means Medication Mistakes Can Be Deadly

Those who live in a nursing home are usually there because they have numerous medical conditions, are functionally impaired, have cognitive deficits such as dementia, and are currently on medication which requires supervision. For some residents, their health issues are purely physical, but approximately 70% of residents experience cognitive impairment which makes them unable to understand and remember everything which happens to them. The combination of serious medical issues and cognitive impairment can leave nursing home residents extremely vulnerable to mismanaged medication. In fact, needing help taking their required medications is one of the main reasons some individuals end up in nursing homes. Unfortunately, nursing home staff sometimes make errors with resident’s medication which can put them at risk of injury, illness, or even death.

Examples of Medication Errors That Put Residents at Risk

There are countless ways that nursing home staff can make mistakes when administering medication to residents. MEdciation errors which most frequently occur include:

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