Medication errors are one of the biggest dangers that nursing home residents face.
Many seniors enter into nursing care precisely because of problems like no longer being able to manage their own medications -- which means they have to rely on the nursing staff to meet their medical needs in a correct and timely manner.
When that doesn't happen, sometimes the event is fairly harmless. One missed dose of a certain drug might cause a minor problem or no noticeable symptoms, depending on what type of drug it is and what condition it is treating. Getting another patient's medication may even be a relatively minor -- if scary -- event, depending on what that medication treats and whether or not the patient who gets it suffers any ill effects. For example, if a patient is accidentally given another patient's medication for an acid-reflux disorder, the odds are good that the patient won't suffer any major injury. Most people tolerate those medications well and unless the patient has an allergy to it, there are few negative effects.
On the other hand, a single dose of the wrong drug can also cost a patient his or her life. When employees try to cover up a mistake, it's even possible that criminal charges can result.
For example, an Ohio nursing home is at the center of both criminal and civil investigations following the 2015 death of a resident who was given a dose of morphine -- a heavy-duty narcotic he was never prescribed. He died as a result.
The nursing home's employees not only failed to notify the family of the medication error, they conspired to tamper with the nursing home's records to conceal the error.
While several employees are now facing criminal charges, the family of the deceased is suing for wrongful death as a result of negligence. The family contends that had the wrong medication never been administered, their loved one could have peacefully lived another 13 years.
Don't let a case of nursing home neglect or injury go unchallenged. Talk to an attorney about the possibility of a claim. For more information about how our firm may be able to help you, please visit our page.