Medication Errors

West Tennessee Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect: Medication Errors that Cause Injury

Memphis nursing home abuse lawyers protecting clients’ rights since 1986

Medication errors in nursing homes have reached dangerous proportions in the U.S. One in three patients were the victim of a medication error in a nursing home, according to a Department of Health and Human Services report that highlights the incidence of adverse events in skilled nursing facilities. The problem is rampant and widespread, and it threatens the safety and well-being of our vulnerable elders.

Medication can have devastating results for an elderly patient. If you have a loved one who has been injured or dies due to a medication error in a nursing home, Bailey & Greer, PLLC here to help you. Our experienced Memphis nursing home negligence attorneys will protect your loved one’s right to live in a skilled nursing care facility where they will be safe and well cared for, rather than living in fear of injury, abuse and neglect by caregivers.

The facts about medication errors that occur in nursing homes

In the DHHS report, doctors who reviewed patients’ records determined that 59 percent of the errors that were made and the resulting injuries were preventable. More than half of the patients who were harmed due to medication errors had to be readmitted to the hospital at a cost of approximately $208 million for the month studied for the report. In response to the report, Sen. Bill Nelson D-Fla, chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging said, “This report paints a troubling picture of the care that’s being provided in some of our nation’s nursing homes,” and that Medicare patients deserve better. This is just a glimpse of a report that covers one month’s worth of medication errors in skilled nursing facilities.

Understaffing in nursing homes is one of the leading causes of the problem. It can lead to all kinds of errors that could be prevented by checking and double checking for accuracy. Some other examples of medication errors that cause injuries to West Tennessee nursing home residents include:

  • Crushing medications that should not be crushed
  • Giving medications that must be taken with food on an empty stomach
  • Allowing residents to swallow sublingual tablets
  • Missing a required dose
  • Overdosing / Under dosing
  • Giving the wrong medications
  • Expired medication
  • Improper administration of the drug
  • Stealing resident’s medications for personal use

What are the physical signs of a possible medication error?

Let us say that you show up to visit your mother in the nursing home and you notice right away that she does not look like herself. While she is usually sitting up in bed reading or watching TV when you arrive, this time she looks lethargic, pale and drawn. When you speak to her she is not alert and you begin to suspect that something is terribly wrong. This could be an example of a medication error. She could have been given a dose meant for another patient, the wrong dosage, or the wrong medication entirely. Alert the administrator and the nursing staff, ask to see her chart so that you can find out what she was given and how much. Other signs of a possible medication error include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Failure to get better after taking medication for an infection or a virus
  • Organ failure
  • Withdrawal symptoms

It is vital that you catch a medication error as soon as possible because it could end up leading to death if the wrong medication is being given or the right medication is not being given.

When a loved one has been injured by a medication error in a Memphis or Jackson nursing home, you want to feel secure in the knowledge that you have a strong advocate on your side who will take on the legal battle and help you to obtain justice on behalf of your loved one. At Bailey & Greer, our West Tennessee nursing home negligence attorneys will protect your rights and make sure that those responsible face the consequences of their actions.

Compassionate, West Tennessee nursing home abuse attorneys ready to offer sound legal advice today

Do you need to take legal action against a Jackson or Memphis nursing home for a medication error that caused injury or harm to your loved one? The law office of Bailey & Greer, PLLC is here to protect the rights of our clients who have suffered injuries in nursing homes throughout Tennessee. You may fill out our contact form or give us a call at 901-680-9777 to schedule a consultation.