Sadly, giving residents the wrong medication or administering medication improperly represents a frequent form of nursing home abuse in Phoenix and across the U.S.
If your loved one has suffered physically as the result of a nursing home issuing the wrong medication or making some other type of drug error, you have the right to pursue compensation.
A Zanes Law wrong medication and drug error lawyer in Phoenix, AZ will help you recover the damages you seek. Call 602-999-9999 for a free case review.
Ways That Nursing Homes Give Wrong Medication and Make Drug Errors
The chain of people involved in prescribing and administering medication to nursing home residents is long and at times inconsistent. At any link in this chain, a resident can suffer the effects of receiving the wrong medication, having it administered improperly, or some other drug error.
Medication and Drug Errors That Happen During Administration
Many nursing homes endure understaffing. The staff that administers medication to residents tend to be tired and overworked. When too few people are forced to handle this administration, staff can feel rushed, get distracted, and make mistakes, including:
- Administering medications that have expired
- Giving too much medication
- Not rolling, shaking, or mixing the medicine
- Not giving enough medication or skipping a dose
- Splitting a pill that should not be divided
- Not using the right technique to administer the meds
- Giving meds at the wrong rate or time
- Giving the wrong medication or strength of the medication
- Not administering eye drops properly
- Not giving enough antacids or food with the medication
- Inaccurately or incorrectly documenting the medication
- Not providing enough liquids with medications
- Not monitoring resident following administration of the medication
- For sublingual meds, having the patient swallow them
- Following the wrong med pass routine
Medication and Drug Errors That Result at the Prescription Level
Mistakes happen at the top of the chain, too, with doctors and pharmacists playing a role in the nursing home’s administering medications that are improperly prescribed or filled. For example:
Over- or Under-Prescribing Medication
If residents do not get enough medication, it will not have the intended and needed effect. If the physician prescribes more medication than what is necessary, it can lead to overdoes, bleeding, brain damage, addiction, or death.
Not Identifying Adverse Drug or Food Interactions
Many drugs do not “play well” with other medications or foods, even. Doctors must be informed about the drugs a resident is currently taking before prescribing additional medication.
Not Acquiring or Reviewing a Resident’s Medical History
The effects a medication has on a resident rely not only on which other drugs the patient is taking but also on the patient’s complete medical history. This information must be given to the physician and reviewed by the physician before he or she prescribes medications.
Poor Communication Between Staff and Healthcare Professionals
When physicians’ orders and instructions regarding medications appear misspelled, or in illegible handwriting, or when words are incorrectly abbreviated or medications are mislabeled, nursing staff can quite easily make mistakes by giving wrong medications and other drug errors.
However your loved one experienced a medication or drug error, Zanes Law’s wrong medication and drug error lawyers in Phoenix, AZ will do everything from A to Z to see that you are compensated for the injuries sustained as the result of this negligence.
Other Forms of Medication Mismanagement at Nursing Homes
Still, other forms of negligence with medication involve more deliberate, rather than accidental, behaviors on the part of the nursing home staff.
Examples of intentional medication mismanagement include the following:
Diversion of Medication
A staff member steals the medication, either to sell to someone else or for personal use.
Ignoring an Order
For whatever reason, a staff member discontinues a resident’s medication, adds medications that the physician did not order for the resident, or changes the physician’s order.
Sometimes, during med pass, staff members realize that a medication needed by a resident is missing so they borrow the medication designated for another resident rather than going to get the correct medication for the resident being treated. This practice can confuse the med pass system in many ways, especially if the borrowing is not documented.
Given the fact that the nursing home is responsible for the hiring, training, and supervision of all its staff, the facility can be held liable for complications that result from this type of medication mismanagement.
Holding the Nursing Home Liable for Wrong Medication and Drug Error
As with other personal injury cases, filing a successful suit against a nursing home for wrong medication and drug error must start with the establishment of negligence.
Duty of Care
The first step we take as personal injury lawyers is to assert that the nursing home had a duty of care to your loved one, as a resident of its facility. This is the easy part. Caring for the safety and well-being of its residents is the sole purpose of a nursing home.
Breach of Duty of Care
Next, we have to prove that the nursing home and/or its staff breached this duty. To prove this violation, we will interview witnesses, review surveillance videos, resident/patient records, doctor records, and pharmacy records. We will bring in medical experts to review all the evidence, along with your loved one’s current condition, to establish that the nursing home and/or staff breached its duty of care by administering the wrong medication or committing some other drug error.
We will further consult with medical experts, referring to your loved one’s medical records to assert that the nursing home/staff’s breach of duty caused your loved one’s injuries or condition.
We will compose a list of physical, emotional, and financial damages that resulted from your loved one’s injury or condition.
Having established the above requirements, our legal team will present a demand letter to the nursing home’s insurance carrier. If the insurer fails to negotiate a fair settlement, we can file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf in civil court. We will aggressively litigate your case to the court, and the judge or jury will weigh the evidence and determine an award (chances are, the nursing home will choose to settle before the trial even gets that far).
Zanes Law Will Do Everything From A to Z to Fight for Your Right for Compensation
The wrong medication and drug error lawyer in Phoenix, AZ from Zanes Law feels a strong sense of passion about cases of nursing home abuse and neglect. We will fight for your right to recover damages and bring justice to the ill treatment of your loved one. Call 602-999-9999 for a free, no-obligation consultation.