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Missed Medication May Be a Sign of Nursing Home Neglect

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

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:

  • Missed doses or under doses of medication;
  • Too many doses of medication or overmedication;
  • Nursing home staff administering the wrong medication;
  • Crushing or splitting capsules, tablets, or other medications that include “do not crush” instructions;
  • Inadequate fluids with medications that require the resident to take it with water;    
  • Inadequate food with medications;
  • Failure to properly mix medication. Certain prescription medicines, such as insulin, require a specific method for “rolling” the medication. Improper mixing or shaking of medication puts the resident at risk; and
  • Outdated or expired medication orders for elderly patients.

Consequences of Medication Errors

Medication error in nursing homes is a serious problem. A study conducted by the Medication Error Quality Initiative in North Carolina found that the mean number of medication errors per nursing home studied was 36. On average, the nursing homes analyzed for the study made 30 medication errors per 100 beds. The consequences of medication mistakes depend on the type of medication, the nursing home resident’s health, and the circumstances surrounding the error. Residents who are not given the correct dose and type of medicine can suffer unnecessary pain and discomfort. In serious cases, a medication error can worsen a resident’s condition or even lead to death.

Contact a Compassionate Cook County Medication Errors Lawyer

If your loved one has suffered at the hands of negligent nursing home staff, call an experienced Chicago, Illinois nursing home abuse injury attorney for help. Contact us today at 312-535-4625 to schedule your free, confidential consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.shepscenter.unc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Nursing-Home-Medication-Error-Quality-Initiative-October-1-2011-%E2%80%93-September-30-2012.pdf

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