Mistakes involving medication can be a severe problem in the medical industry, especially in nursing homes that care for vulnerable seniors. These facilities can administer medicine on a daily basis, including substances that can be harmful if taken improperly. Many factors can contribute to occurrences of medication errors, such as clerical mistakes and excessive workloads. However, too much can be at risk for seniors with sensitive physical conditions.
Sometimes, medication errors happen in various ways, including the following practices that may seem harmless:
- Improper processing of scored tablets if slicing, cutting or crushing is appropriate
- Failing to meet hydration or feeding requirements for specific medications
- Incorrect handling of medicine before administering them
- Dispensing medication without considering the proper administering method, schedule and possible reactions
- Dispensing medicine to the wrong patient caused by confusion with their identity
- Lack of adequate process documentation before and after administering the medicine
These examples can lead to grave repercussions, such as worsening health issues or ineffectiveness of the medicine. Medication errors can also go against industry-standard protocols, which are essential in maintaining the duty of care.
Taking legal action against negligence in nursing homes
Nursing homes and other facilities should comply with strict standards when caring for vulnerable patients or elders. These individuals can have impairments, making them unable to advocate for themselves in the face of improper practices.
Nurses, physicians and other healthcare personnel should know what guidelines to follow, especially when prescribing and dispensing medicine. These incidents can happen because of negligence, depending on the circumstances. If so, the victims can hold at-fault parties accountable by taking legal action based on the situation.