Medication Errors in Nursing Homes

Elder abuse in any form is strictly prohibited by California law. In addition to physical abuse and neglect, medication errors in nursing homes are considered a form of elder abuse. Unfortunately, due to insufficient staffing in many long term nursing facilities, errors in the type and amount of medications administered to residents occur with alarming frequency. While in many cases there may be no detrimental side effects to an elder who is given the incorrect medication, or the wrong dosage; in many other cases, the error can prove fatal.

For example, if two patients’ medications are mixed up, and incorrectly administered, the outcome can be disastrous. A diabetic who is mistakenly given a fellow patients’ heart medication may not under normal circumstances have a negative reaction. However, if that heart medication happens interacts with other medications she is taking, or causes side effects that the patient can’t sustain; the mistake can result in death.

Other medications must be taken consistently in order for them to be effective. Therefore, missing a dose of the proper medication can have devastating consequences on the elder who has missed their dosage. Other medication errors that may occur in nursing homes include:

•Failing to provide needed daily medication
•Accidentally providing an overdose of the medicine
•Providing the wrong medication
•Failing to check for dangerous drug interactions

Make no mistake, these types of abuse happen more often than any of us would like to imagine. If you do suspect negligence or errors in medication in a nursing home, report it immediately.

If you believe you or somebody you know has been subjected to medication errors while living in a California nursing home, contact California elder abuse attorney Christopher C. Walton at (866) 338-7079 for a free and confidential consultation.