Across the country, nursing home medication errors are causing health problems among nursing home populations. According to a report by a local NBC affiliate out of Chicago, a recent inspection by state health inspectors discovered 384 nursing home medication errors since 2011. Two of these medication errors resulted in death and one required an otherwise unnecessary amputation.
One Person’s Story of Medication Error
The article details the story of a woman who moved her brother to a nursing home after he suffered a stroke and a heart attack and was unable to care for himself. While he was in the care of the nursing home, he developed gastrointestinal cancer. When he first began his course of treatment, he was reacting well to the medication and his condition was stabilizing.
Months later, her brother’s condition began to worsen. Later, the family discovered that the nursing home had not given him his required medication for over a year. By the time the error was caught, the cancer had spread throughout his body and was untreatable. He passed away shortly thereafter.
The family has filed suit against the nursing home and eventually reached a settlement, the details of which are not publicly known.
The FDA and Medication Error
The FDA describes medication error as “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer. Such events may be related to professional practice, health care products, procedures, and systems, including prescribing; order communication; product labeling, packaging, and nomenclature; compounding; dispensing; distribution; administration; education; monitoring; and use.”
On the FDA’s website, the agency explains that certain kinds of medications are more prone to result in an error. In addition, the FDA is pushing to eliminate error-prone abbreviations that increase the likelihood of a medication error. Along these lines, the FDA has published a “do not use” list of abbreviations that it advises practitioners to avoid.
Maryland Nursing Homes and Medication Error
Medication errors occur all over the country, including in Maryland. Like everywhere else, the nursing homes in Maryland vary in quality, ranging from top-notch facilities to those that are routinely cited for failing to comply with legal guidelines. Make sure that you do your research before placing your loved one in a Maryland nursing home.
Do You Believe that Your Loved One Suffered From Medication Error in a Nursing Home Setting?
If you have reason to suspect that your loved one has been injured by a medication error by a nursing home, contact an experienced Maryland nursing home attorney as soon s possible. It may be that the nursing home failed to provide your loved one with their prescriptions, administered an improper dose, or provided them with the wrong medication altogether. In these cases, you may have a suit for damages against the nursing home facility. To learn more, contact the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. Click here, or call 410-654-2600 to contact the firm online.
See More Blog Posts:
University of Maryland Study Shows Correlation Between Patient Turnover and Poor Nursing Home Quality, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published February 17, 2014.
Indiana Nurse Prosecuted for Death of Elderly Nursing Home Resident , Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published February 10, 2014.