A pharmaceutical journal’s review of a recently conducted study concerning the prevalence of prescription errors in nursing homes found that while the total number of errors was relatively high, the prevalence of incidents that result in serious complications from the mistakes was surprisingly low. There could be several reasons for the higher-than-normal rate of prescription errors in nursing homes.
For one, nursing home residents are more likely than the general population to be receiving medical treatment that includes prescription medication. Nursing home staff may be responsible for dispensing out hundreds of medications from different doctors and pharmacies to various patients, who may not be verifying that they are receiving the correct medicine or dosage and could be harmed as a result. The study found that the level of serious incidents due to these errors was lower than expected, which the authors of the article attributed to the possibility that the errors that led to serious problems were being underreported or misclassified.
Nursing Home Residents’ Condition May Worsen for Various Reasons
Residents of nursing homes often have serious medical problems for which they are being treated while living at a nursing facility. If a prescription error is made by a pharmacy or employee of the nursing home and causes a significant injury, illness, or death, the nursing home employees and management may not wish to reveal the error leading to the resident’s complications and instead attribute it to a more common or accidental cause.
This pattern of blaming negligence on an unrelated cause for which the home would not be liable occurs frequently in nursing homes with all sorts of illnesses, injuries, and complications. If a resident or their family does not suspect a medication error resulted in harm to the resident, they may never check the records. Worse yet, the records may not have been properly kept to document which medications were actually dispensed to the residents and by whom.
Victims of Nursing Home Prescription Errors Are Entitled to Relief
Nursing home residents who are affected by prescription errors are often in a difficult position because it may be hard to find the cause of their health problems. If it is determined that a resident was given the wrong medication by the staff or a pharmacy as a result of a prescription error, the residents or their family may be entitled to damages. In cases in which the nursing home management actively works to conceal or destroy evidence of the true source of a serious error, victims and their families may be entitled to additional damages or other procedural benefits, such as the extension of the statute of limitations for filing a nursing home prescription error claim for relief.
Maryland Nursing Home Abuse and Prescription Error Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered from an illness or injury while a resident at a nursing home, and you suspect it is a result of a prescription error or other neglect or abuse, you may have a case for damages against the parties responsible for the mistake. The Maryland prescription error and nursing abuse lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers may be able to help you seek the compensation your loved ones and you deserve. Our skilled Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. attorneys can fight to hold nursing homes up to the standard of care that they guarantee. We can take action to alleviate the harms caused by a serious prescription error or another act of neglect or abuse. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we represent clients in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and the entire Washington, D.C. area in all nursing home abuse and neglect cases, including prescription mistakes. Call us toll-free at 1-800-654-1949 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
Big Changes Coming to Most Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published November 18, 2016.
Nursing Home’s Failure to Keep Out Drug Dealers Results in Staggering Increase in Residential Overdoses Nationwide, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published November 28, 2016.