Many nursing home residents take prescription medications to treat and manage various conditions. Family members rely on nursing home staff to administer their loved one’s medications accurately, on time, in the proper dosage, and in accordance with the doctor’s orders.
Sadly, medication errors in San Diego nursing homes are all too common. These situations can result from neglect or even purposeful overmedication to make patient care easier for staff. Regardless of the circumstances behind a medication error, families should address the nursing home neglect or abuse by contacting a dedicated attorney to discuss their legal options.
Causes of Nursing Home Medication Errors
Correctly administering medication is a fundamental responsibility for nursing homes. However, the US Food and Drug Administration receives almost 100,000 reports of medication errors in hospitals and nursing homes every year.
Understaffing is common cause of medication errors. Nurses who are in a hurry to dispense necessary medications to many patients might administer the wrong medication or dosage due to inattentiveness. Improperly trained nursing home staff might not recognize when a drug is contraindicated or fail to notice a change in a patient that suggests their medication needs to be modified.
Family members should stay informed about a loved one’s prescribed medications and appropriate doses. If there seems to be a deviation from the patient’s medication protocol, the family should ask questions and demand answers. A lawyer who handles medication errors in San Diego can help investigate the nursing home for any signs of neglect or abuse.
Consequences of Medication Errors for Elderly Residents
A significant percentage of patients in nursing homes experience preventable medication errors. Every mistake is an indication that nursing home procedures are not adequate to protect patients. Receiving incorrect medication can seriously impact a nursing home resident’s wellbeing and cause side effects such as:
- Anxiety and agitation
- Problems with balance that could cause a fall
- Life-threatening change in blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
If a family suspects that their loved one’s condition stemmed from a medication error, they should speak with an experienced attorney in San Diego. Depending on the circumstances, a lawsuit seeking damages from the nursing home might be appropriate.
Medication Error Lawsuits in San Diego
Bringing a successful lawsuit against a nursing home requires proof that the facility did not adhere to the prevailing standard of care and that the patient suffered harm due to that failure. The specifics of proving negligence vary according to the facts of the case.
A nursing home has a duty to provide the resident with their prescribed medication per the treating physician’s instructions. If the nursing home did not do so, this could be evidence of negligence. If a skilled local attorney can prove that the medication error caused significant harm to the patient, the nursing home can be held liable to pay for the resident’s damages. These might include medical costs associated with the medication error and compensation for the resident’s pain and suffering.
Call a San Diego Attorney for Nursing Home Medication Error Claims
If your loved one’s nursing home one is not adhering to their medication needs, you have the right to be concerned and take action. Failing to provide prescribed medication in accordance with the resident’s treatment plan is a violation of the facility’s legal and ethical obligations.
If your loved one suffered harm because of a medication error, a negligence lawsuit might be appropriate. Contact a lawyer who handles medication errors in San Diego nursing homes and explore your legal options.