Seven Common Medication Errors in Nursing Homes

Nurse with elderly patient

Nursing homes take care of our society’s most vulnerable members. The elderly and permanently disabled may reside in these facilities. Like other health care facilities, nursing homes can be hotspots for medical mistakes. In nursing homes, medication errors are one of the most common types of mistakes made by staff members. Seven common medication errors in nursing homes include:

  1. Providing patients with the wrong medications. This type of mistake may occur for several reasons. For instance, a nurse may confuse medications with similar names.
  2. Prescribing the wrong dosage. Nurses may give patients too little or too much of a medication. As a result, patients may not receive treatment for a condition. Patients can also overdose.
  3. Ignoring patient medical histories. Certain medications may trigger an allergic reaction. A patient’s medical history could mention allergies to specific medications. If this information is ignored by the pharmacy or physician and the medication is provided, a patient could suffer an allergic reaction.
  4. Providing medications that should not be taken together. Certain medications cannot be taken together. For instance, mixing an SSRI (an antidepressant) with an MAO inhibitor (also an antidepressant) can lead to serotonin syndrome, a potentially fatal condition.
  5. Improperly administering medications. Nurses may incorrectly provide the medication to patients. For instance, a nurse may provide a medication to a patient at the incorrect time.
  6. Failing to provide medication. There are cases where nursing home staff do not provide medication to patients. As a result, patients may go without treatment. In cases involving nursing home abuse, medication may be intentionally withheld from patients.
  7. Improper preparation. Some medications need to be prepared a specific way. Patients could be harmed when pharmacists make mistakes while preparing medications.

Can I File a Lawsuit for a Nursing Home Medication Mistake?

There may be legal options to recover compensation for nursing home medication mistakes. Like hospitals, medical malpractice can also occur in these facilities. You should speak to a Washington DC medical negligence lawyer at Regan Zambri Long PLLC if your loved one was harmed while receiving care in a nursing home. Our attorneys could discuss whether you have options to recover compensation for an injury or loss.

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