Preventable medication errors account for 1.5 million American injuries each year, according to the Institute of Medicine. Of those injured, administration errors are responsible for nearly 32%. In nursing homes and long-term care facilities, where you have overworked, under-qualified or poorly trained staff, these errors can be life-threatening. At the Law Office of W. Andrew Arnold, our nursing home abuse lawyers understand the dangerous and deadly risk of medication errors.
Types of Medication Errors
Medication errors occur while preparing or administering a resident’s medicine. These types of errors can include contradicting a doctor’s orders, going against the manufacturer’s instructions, or disobeying professional standards regarding the medication. In some cases, staff may unlawfully give medication as a chemical restraint to residents who are mobile or considered bothersome.
Specific types of medication errors can include:
- Incorrectly crushing or slicing medication
- Inadequate fluids or food accompanying medication
- Improper mixing of medication
- Improper dose of eye drops
- Improper use of metered dose inhalers
Medication errors can also be made as a result of neglect, such as forgetting to give residents proper doses of medication or giving residents the wrong medications. These can also swing the other way and result in staff giving residents too many doses in an effort to make up for forgetting them previously.
Symptoms of Medication Errors
Warning signs of medication errors are hard to pinpoint. Different medications manifest in different ways. Also, did the resident receive too little or too much? It’s important to be familiar with all the medications and their side effects, such as:
- Abdominal Discomfort
- Difficulty Breathing
- Irregular Heart Beat
- Loss of Appetite
- Loss of Cognitive Functions
- Mood Swings or Behavior Changes
- Severe Rash
Consult With a Greenville Nursing Home Lawyer
If you’ve seen the warning signs and symptoms of medication errors in a nursing home or long-term care facility, talk with Greenville Nursing Home Lawyer Andy Arnold. Put an end to elder abuse by calling 864-242-4800.