Topic: Nursing Home Litigation
Some of the most vulnerable patients are those in nursing homes. These patients are often weak, have memory or cognitive deficits, and rely on the medical and support staff of the nursing home to fulfill their basic needs. Many nursing home residents take a host of medications to treat and manage a variety of ailments. When mistakes occur in the administration of these medications, the results can be serious, and sometimes even fatal.
TYPES OF MEDICATION ERRORS AND HOW THEY HAPPEN
There are many reasons why medication errors are made when administering prescription drugs to patients in nursing homes. Even the most cautious and professional medical personnel can make mistakes. Doctors can sometimes make errors when ordering a specific medication or in prescribing the dosage or frequency of doses. Nurses and medical assistants can sometimes confuse the names of medications that are similar or misread the dosage information on the doctor’s orders or prescription labels. Occasionally, medications can be administered twice if notations are not properly recorded.
Incorrect or missing information on patient allergies can lead to serious side effects. Interactions between medications can also be harmful to the patient. Pharmacists that fail to check for a patient’s allergies or medication interactions can cause fatal consequences. Nurses can also make mistakes in how they deliver medication to the patient. If a pill is long acting and the nurse crushes it to make it easier for the patient to swallow the medication, the result could prevent the medication from being effective. If the medication needs to be delivered by injection into a muscle but is given intravenously instead, the consequences can be severe. The benefits of some medications can also be diminished when mixed with certain foods. In this case, a simple change in diet could prevent a negative side effect.
PROVING NEGLIGENCE IN MEDICATION ERRORS
When mistakes in medication are made because of negligence or carelessness by the medical staff or facility, the nursing home could be held liable for medical malpractice. The burden of proof in this case rests on the victim, their family and their lawyer to prove that the medical personnel in charge of administering the medication, or the nursing home facility itself, was negligent in its standard of care.
A competent and experienced medical malpractice lawyer will need to document a record of medical evidence to prove negligence. The patient’s medical records will need to be evaluated by a medical expert to validate carelessness or negligence in treatment. This person will comb over details available in the reports that examine all aspects of the patient’s treatment plan, their administration of medications, and the circumstances surrounding the error. If negligence is proven, the patient or the family can file a medical malpractice claim.
NEW JERSEY NURSING HOME ABUSE LAWYERS AT EICHEN CRUTCHLOW ZASLOW & MCELROY HELP VICTIMS OF NURSING HOME MEDICATION ERRORS AND ABUSE
The experienced and competent team of New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP is dedicated to protecting the safety and legal rights of nursing home residents. If you or someone you love has suffered injury or death as a result of nursing home abuse or negligence, we can help you claim the justice and compensation you deserve.
Call us at 732-777-0100 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are located in Red Bank, Edison, and Toms River, New Jersey enabling us to serve clients throughout the state.
Some of the most vulnerable patients are those in nursing homes. These patients are often weak, have memory or cognitive deficits, and rely on the medical and support staff of the nursing home to fulfill their basic needs.