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Medication Errors Can Lead to Injuries and Death in Illinois Nursing Homes

Posted on in Medication Errors

Cook County Nursing Home Neglect LawyerThe majority of people living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities take one or more medications each day. They may need the medicine to mitigate pain, lower triglycerides, reduce blood pressure, or treat infections. When used correctly, medications can be lifesaving. When used incorrectly, medications have the potential to seriously injure or kill a nursing home resident.

Most Common Types of Medication Errors

It is no secret that many nursing homes are understaffed and underfunded. Many facilities do not have enough staff to provide residents the high-quality care and attention they deserve. Employees are often overworked, underpaid, and undertrained. Staffing issues like these increase the chances of medical mistakes.

Research shows that preventable adverse drug events are common in nursing homes. Approximately 16 – 27 percent of nursing home residents will be victims of medication mistakes according to the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Frighteningly, studies show that the number of medication mistakes in nursing homes is increasing.

Most medication errors occurr during medication ordering and monitoring. A serious medication mistake can take place at any point during the prescription, ordering, or administration of medication. Carelessness, poor communication between staff, and lack of medical knowledge may all lead to medication errors.

Recently, one nursing home resident suffered a heart attack and kidney failure because the nursing home staff gave the resident another resident’s medication by mistake. These types of errors can be extremely dangerous for individuals who are already frail and in poor health.

Medication mistakes may involve:

  • Prescribing a medication that interacts with another medication the resident is taking

  • Prescribing a medication that the resident is allergic to

  • Administering too much or too little medication to a resident

  • Mixing up two residents’ medication

  • Confusing sound-alike medications and consequently providing the wrong medication to a resident

  • Using the wrong administration method when giving a resident a medication

  • Failing to monitor a resident for medication side effects or adverse reactions

Contact a Chicago Nursing Home Injury Lawyer

Medication errors can cause serious mental and physical harm to nursing home residents. If your loved one was harmed by a medication mistake in a nursing home, contact Schwartz Injury Law for help. You may be entitled to financial compensation for additional medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Our Cook County nursing home injury attorneys help injured victims and their families hold negligent nursing homes accountable for the harm they have caused. We offer free, no-obligation consultations.  Call 312-535-4625 today.

 

Sources:

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

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27870068/

https://bmcnurs.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12912-021-00587-2

https://www.syracuse.com/health/2022/01/syracuse-nursing-home-slammed-for-medication-mix-up-that-lands-resident-in-emergency-room.html

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