Many elderly adults have health conditions that need to be treated with prescription medications. This is especially true of nursing home residents, who often rely on employees at the nursing home to provide them with their medications. But, what happens when someone makes a mistake and a nursing home resident is injured as a result? Here’s what you need to know about medication errors in nursing homes:
Types of Medication Errors
There are many different types of medication errors that can occur inside a nursing home, including:
- Giving the victim too much or too little of the medication
- Giving the victim the wrong medication
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Administering the medication incorrectly
These errors may not seem serious, but they can significantly harm the victim. In severe cases, victims can suffer from allergic reactions and organ failure. Some medication errors may even be fatal.
A nursing home is not automatically held responsible for medication errors that occur within the facility. The victim must be able to prove that the nursing home was negligent in order to recover compensation in a personal injury claim.
For example, let’s say the error was related to the administration of the medication. The nursing home may be liable if it is determined they failed to properly train their employees on administering medication. A nursing home can also be held liable if an employee simply handed a resident the wrong medication or the wrong amount of a medication because she was distracted or in a hurry. Sadly, this is far too common in nursing homes due to understaffing issues.
However, third party healthcare providers and pharmacists can also be held liable for these errors. For instance, a doctor who accidentally prescribes the wrong medication would be held liable for his mistake. Pharmacists can be held liable if they do not fill the prescription properly. Both doctors and pharmacists may be liable if they fail to realize that a newly prescribed medication may produce dangerous side effects if taken with another medication that the victim is already on. In these situations, the nursing home would not necessarily be liable unless the doctor or pharmacist was employed by the facility.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a medication error in a nursing home, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will get to the bottom of why the medication error occurred to determine who can be held responsible. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.