Learning Causes, Damages, and Liability for Nursing Home Medication Errors in Springfield
One of the chief tasks of nursing homes is handling a resident’s medication routine. Although many nursing homes and long-term care facilities do a good job handling prescriptions and medications for residents, unfortunately, some do not and it can result in nursing home medication errors in Springfield, Illinois. Indeed, government statistics reveal that between 7,000 and 9,000 people die each year as a result of a medication error in the United States. Further, the same statistical study acknowledges that there are perhaps thousands of other medication errors that result in wrongful deaths that are not reported. To that end, a separate study reveals that preventable medication errors result in damages to over 7 million patients each year, causing 3.5 million doctor office visits, 1 million emergency department visits, and almost $21 billion in additional healthcare costs. If you or a loved one were one of those injured by medication errors in Illinois, call the nursing home neglect lawyers in Springfield at the Noll Law Office for help at (217) 414-8889.
Unlike some other personal injury law firms, the Noll Law Office delivers dedicated legal representation in your community – not farming cases out to new (and cheaper) associates across the state. Rather, the Noll Law Office handles cases in-house and in your community, where their fifth-generation lawyers have been serving the community where they work and live. In addition, the Noll Law Office offers free consultations and case evaluations, allowing victims and their families the opportunity to ask questions and get answers to their important legal questions without having to pay anything upfront. To learn more about your rights to compensation and whether the experienced nursing home neglect lawyers in Springfield at the Noll Law Office can help you, contact them today.
What Are Medication Errors?
A medication error in a nursing home or long-term care facility in Illinois is defined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as any preventable event that results in inappropriate medication use or harm to a patient. Such errors can occur when the patient is under the supervision and control of a healthcare provider, such as at a nursing home. The error could also be caused by an inappropriate filling of the prescription or creating it, which includes the pharmacist, pharmacy tech, or the pharmacy.
This means that medication errors can occur in potentially three places:
- The prescribing physician’s office – for example, ordering the wrong medication, or dosage, or failing to check a list of interactions or comorbidities which are counter-indicated for the drug
- The pharmacy – in either compounding, mixing, drawing, dosing, or otherwise packaging the medication, including doing so for the right person and not mixing it up, and then relaying that information to the patient or administrator of the medication (like the nursing home)
- The administrator – this is the person or entity who is administering or providing the patient with the medication, which could be a caretaker, nursing home, long-term care facility, or another provider, who fails to give the medication as directed, to the right patient, too much or too little of a dose, and other consideration that could result in serious or catastrophic harm to a patient or resident
Causes of Medication Errors in Nursing Homes
There are many common causes of medication errors that can occur in a nursing home or long-term care facility in Illinois. Nearly all of these medication errors are preventable, as that is the FDA definition of a medication error. That means that these medication errors result in unnecessary harm to residents, indicating that they are often due to nursing home abuse, neglect, malpractice, or negligence.
Some of the most common causes of medication errors in nursing homes or long-term care facilities in Illinois include the following:
- Resident mix-ups – giving a resident the wrong medication
- Delays in giving medication
- Giving medication too soon
- Overdosing a patient
- Underdosing a patient
- Failing to provide food or adequate food as instructed
- Administering medication too close to other medications that are contraindicated
- Providing medication to a resident when a healthcare provider stopped the medication for the day, time period, or when it was not supposed to occur – for example, giving a resident a blood thinner on a day of a medical procedure
- Continuing to provide a resident with a medication that was discontinued by a physician
- Failing to provide water or adequate liquids to take the medication
- Medication misuse, such as administering a resident a medication that will make them drowsy so that staff doesn’t have to work with that resident
- Neglecting to monitor a resident or provide instructions to the resident – such as taking medication and being required to sit upright for a certain amount of time after taking it
- Ignoring a resident’s complaints of pain, discomfort, or a feeling that a pill or medication is “lodged” in the resident’s throat, which could cause a caustic injury
- Forgetting to give a resident a medication
- Doubling the dose, either providing medication to a resident twice by mistake or by accidentally administering the medication in double the dose (this can occur if one nurse fails to document the administration of medication), and
- Many other medication errors could result in serious personal injuries to a resident that an experienced nursing home neglect lawyer in Springfield could help handle a case for you.
An Experienced Attorney from Noll Law Office Can Help if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
If you or a loved one suffered any adverse effects from nursing home medication errors in Illinois, contact the experienced nursing home neglect lawyers in Springfield at the Noll Law Office for help. Victims and their families may be entitled to compensation under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act or other common law causes of action against a nursing home, long-term care facility, or another entity that may have caused serious personal injuries due to a medication error. To learn more about your rights to compensation under Illinois law, contact the Noll Law Office today to schedule your free consultation.