Nursing Home Negligence: Medication Errors
Placing a loved one in a long-term care facility like a nursing home can be a difficult and stressful time. You’re putting someone you care about very deeply, into the hands of strangers, and trusting that their needs and requirements will be looked after. Elder care facilities have a great deal of responsibility — to keep their residents safe, healthy, clean, maintain a proper diet, and see after any medical needs they might have, including the proper medication.
What happens when someone slips up and gives a senior the wrong medication, or the wrong dosage of the correct medication, and serious complications result? You may have legal options to pursue damages in a malpractice or personal injury claim. Learn about nursing home medication errors, the legal options you might have if it happens to you, and how a nursing home negligence lawyer can help.
Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home malpractice or negligence occurs in a variety of ways, but it always comes down to someone acting in a grossly irresponsible way when they should’ve known better. In legal terms, malpractice occurs when any healthcare or medical provider (in this case, the nursing facility) fails to use the proper degree of skill and care that an average specialist in that area can be expected to use, given current resources and technology available.
Prescription Medication and Negligence
Medication errors do happen — health care providers are human, after all, and they do make mistakes. The question is whether or not the mistake was so egregious it should’ve by rights been avoided.
Some (but not all) situations that constitute negligence can include a doctor prescribing incorrect medication or dosages, failing to ask about allergies, giving the wrong medication to a patient, incorrectly administering medication, failing to note potential interactions, or mislabeling meds.
These errors happen more often than you might expect. A pharmacist misreads 10mg as 100 mg, or vice-versa. The nurse might believe the patient to be more mentally competent than they are and ask about allergies, taking their “no” at face value when the patient does, indeed, have allergies. They might inject a drug into a vein that should be injected into the muscle.
Does the Mistake Have Consequences?
Proving negligence requires harm. If a mistake occurred, but there were no serious lasting consequences it can be tough to pursue a case. However, if the nursing home fails to correct the error and consequences later result, then negligence will attach. Likewise, if a serious complication results — allergic reactions, harmful interactions and the like — you may have a case for negligence.
Calling a Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer
These cases can be difficult and tricky to pursue. At very least the nursing facility’s lawyers and the insurance company have a vested interest in protecting themselves and their client, and they’ll go to lengths to avoid having to pay out a claim, especially if it could hurt the facility’s operations or reputation.
This means to pursue your suit, you need someone knowledgeable and experienced in elder law, like a nursing home negligence lawyer. The attorneys at Parrish DeVaughn have many decades of combined experience in dealing with these kinds of cases and we may be able to help you. If you’re in Oklahoma City and need help pursuing a case like this, give us a call for a free consultation today!