Medication errors are common across all patient demographics, not just in nursing homes. Typically, when medication errors occur in a nursing home, they occur because a physician prescribed the wrong medication or the wrong dosage, or there was an error in the drug’s administration.
If your parent was given the wrong drug, in order to sue for medical malpractice, your parent must have suffered harm as a result. If your parent was given the wrong drug but suffered no side effects or only minor side effects, a medical malpractice case will be difficult to pursue. If your parent suffered serious injury or death, it is important that the error be traced to its source. The outcome could depend on the specific situation under which the individual was given the wrong drugs.
In general, the number of medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, increases every year and so does the number of people taking the medications. As those numbers grow, so does the opportunity for errors. Most patients are much more likely to suffer medication errors than other types of medical malpractice problems.
In a nursing home setting, there are a number of reasons why medication errors occur. Doctors may fail to get a patient’s complete medical history. Medications may be mislabeled. Employees may be rushed, and patients may have difficulties communicating about any problems they see. Patients’ reactions to medications may not be observed or noted. Doctors may fail to take into account a patient’s allergies, other medications they are taking, or their weight.
If your parent was harmed by a medication error at a nursing home, you should speak with an attorney with your parent. He or she may have legal options against the nursing home.