Medication Errors Can Happen In Nursing Homes

It is an unfortunate reality that most people will not have the ability to provide full-time care to elderly and ailing loved ones. Though you and many other New Mexico residents would love to be able to keep your loved one at home and ensure that he or she receives proper care, you may lack the knowledge necessary to provide that care and may not have the means or time to do it either.

As a result, you decided to utilize a long-term care nursing facility in hopes that your loved one would receive the necessary attention and care. Of course, it is important to remember that, even though the staff members have a duty to properly attend to your loved one, mistakes can happen. If the problem relates to the medication your loved one receives, he or she could face serious adverse health effects.

Factors That Affect Medication Distribution

Often, nurses and other staff members at nursing homes have multiple patients to attend to, which means that they often have various medications to administer. As a result, they need to ensure that they distribute those medications correctly, and they should consider the following factors when they give medications:

  • Staff members should ensure that they have the right patient, right time, right dose and right medication before giving it to the patient.
  • Staff members should also do an assessment of the patient before administering medications.
  • An evaluation of the patient after the administration of medication can help ensure that no adverse effects have occurred.
  • Staff members should also ensure that they correctly document the administration in efforts to avoid double doses and so that the information is accessible in the event that a patient does have an adverse reaction.

Of course, even if staff members believe that they are fulfilling their duties correctly, mistakes can occur due to a lack of on-site physicians and pharmacies at most nursing home facilities. Additionally, if it is an understaffed facility, a single nurse may have too many patients to attend to, which can easily lead to confusion and mix-ups or even missed dosing times because the staff member’s route takes so long.

What If Your Loved One Suffers?

Unfortunately, ailing and elderly individuals are more susceptible to adverse effects from incorrect medications. If your loved one suffered serious illness or injury due to a medication error while in a nursing home, you may understandably have concerns about how it happened. You may also wonder what steps you could take to ensure that it does not happen again and how you can pursue compensation for the damages your loved one and your family suffered. Luckily, you may have legal options that could help you seek justice.

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