Nurse at a nursing home handing patient medication

Common Nursing Home Medication Errors and Prevention

Nursing home abuse can take many forms. Sometimes abuse is intentional, but medical professionals may also make medication errors, which can affect patients and their family members. Nurses and physicians must be vigilant when they collect, organize, and disburse medication to patients in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. If you or a family member suffered serious bodily injury or death due to a medication error, contact a Chicago nursing home malpractice lawyer today. 

Common Nursing Home Medication Errors in Chicago

Nursing home errors can occur even when nursing home employees are attentive, focused, and careful when dispensing medication. However, some patients who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s may not recall being given the incorrect medication, or a patient may not have the mental capacity to check that they receive the correct dosage before ingesting the medicine. 

The following are some of the most common nursing home medication errors in Illinois: 

  • The medication is not mixed in the correct manner 
  • The patient is not given food or water which should be ingested with the medication 
  • The medication is crushed when the manufacturer provides a warning stating that the medication should not be crushed 
  • The medication is ingested in the wrong manner 
  • The patient receives the medication at the incorrect time
  • The medication is administered to the incorrect patient 
  • A medical professional administers too little of the medication in one dose 
  • A medical professional administers too much of the medication in one dose 
  • Nursing charts contain inaccurate documentation 

Some drugs are more commonly associated with medication errors. The following drugs are commonly associated with civil lawsuits regarding medication errors in Illinois: 

  • Insulin 
  • Anti-seizure medication 
  • Diuretics 
  • Anticoagulants 
  • Pain management medicine 
  • Antidepressant medicines 
  • Antipsychotic medicines 

Overdosing the drugs listed above can cause patients to die unless they are given immediate medical care. Every staff member in a nursing home needs to understand the risks associated with medication errors. 

Frequent Causes of Medication Errors in Nursing Homes 

Civil lawsuits regarding medication errors in nursing homes often have long discovery periods during which both parties learn information about the facts of the case. One of the most contentious areas associated with medication error cases is what caused the medication error. The following are some of the most common causes of medication errors in nursing homes: 

  • Staff members making transcription errors 
  • Incorrect abbreviation of medical terminology 
  • Staff layoffs
  • Inaccurate charting 
  • Illegible handwriting 
  • Inadequate training 
  • Mixing up prescription names 
  • Insufficient pharmaceutical knowledge 

These common errors are capable of causing serious bodily injury or death. Therefore, it is imperative that you seek out a personal injury attorney in Illinois if you or a loved one suffered injuries due to medication errors. 

Elder abuse is also a possible element in medication error cases. Nurses and other medical professionals may attempt to steal specific types of drugs and withhold them from patients. Sometimes patients can die due to denial of the proper medication. Oftentime, a witness in the nursing home will come forward to alert management about the abuse because the patient is incapable of reporting the abuse they experience. 

Contact a Nursing Home Neglect Attorney in Chicago

If your loved one has been victim of medication errors in a nursing home, contact our office today to speak with an experienced nursing home malpractice attorney.