Medication Errors

According to an article on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website:

The nursing home environment is among the most complicated and challenging clinical settings in all of medicine and place older persons residing in nursing homes at substantial risk of injuries caused by medical and other errors.

The article maintains that nursing homes often tend to have little physician involvement, which is perplexing in view of the severity and complexity of many residents’ health conditions. Furthermore, the way in which the financing of nursing home care is currently configured does not incentivize improvements in quality or safety.

Adverse drug events in nursing home residents are common and often preventable, and are an indication of negligence. A study of residents of two large academic long-term care facilities indicated that the overall rate of adverse drug events was nearly 10 per 100 resident-months, of which 40% were considered preventable.

Residents taking medications in several drug categories – including antipsychotic agents, anticoagulants, diuretics, and antiepileptic medications – were found to be at special risk for preventable adverse drug events.

Study Shows Medication Errors Prevalent in NC Nursing Homes

An estimated 800,000 preventable medication-related injuries occur every year in long-term care facilities, according to a report on the National Institutes of Health website.

A 2007 study of 25 nursing homes across North Carolina found 92% were found to have caused medical errors.

There are numerous reasons medication errors occur. The study suggests that errors most commonly occurred during medication administration and were attributed to basic human error. From ordering, dispensing, improper monitoring of drug interactions and general health conditions, to over- or under-dosing, and miscommunication among nursing home staff, doctors, pharmacy, hospital staff, and others.

North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Offer FREE Case Evaluation

Medication errors are not uncommon in North Carolina nursing homes for a number of reasons – understaffing due to financial constraints being one of them. If your loved one has suffered medication errors at the hands of those who are entrusted to provide care and comfort, contact us immediately or call 1-866-900-7078. You may be eligible for compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of care and family duties
  • Loss of the victim’s earnings
  • Wrongful death
  • Funeral expenses for the victim