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Medical Errors Caused by Nursing Home Negligence

Nursing Home Negligence in Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas, can have many forms, including medical errors, medical malpractice, and / or medication errors, which can result in injuries and even death. One of the most confusing and scary situations for residents and their loved ones involves what to do when an medication error occurs at the nursing home. Families and residents have questions about the long-term effects of medical negligence, how medical errors can be avoided in the future and whether medical errors rise due to negligence or medical malpractice under the law. At Bautista LeRoy, we meet with families and residents of nursing homes throughout Kansas City, and the surrounding states, to help identify if the medical error is a result of medication administration errors, negligent medical error, or medical malpractice.

How Can A Nurse Become Negligent with Medication Administration?

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  • Failing to properly mix or shake the medication prior to distribution
  • Failing to provide adequate liquids for the medication
  • Crushing, slicing or cutting medication for residents, when the instructions are clear that the medication should not be crushed.
  • Having residents swallow medication that is designed to be sublingual or placed under the tongue to dissolve.

Patient Negligent Medical Errors, Healthcare Institutions, and Nursing Homes in Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas

Many times the families of residents find that there was an error in the medications given to the residents. Unfortunately, most nursing homes in Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas are understaffed. As a result, the staff is overworked and can make mistakes when administering medication. This is especially true in a polypharmacy environment where patients are receiving multiple medications to treat a single ailment. These mistakes rise to the level of nursing home negligence when they involve the following:

  • Giving too much of the medication; the employees and staff sometimes read the dosage incorrectly and give double or even ten times the medication prescribed by the doctor.
  • Giving the wrong medication; depending on how the resident came to the facility, the resident can have prescriptions from various doctors or pharmacists that prescribe different medication. It is the nursing home staff’s responsibility to coordinate treatment with all health care providers to ensure the resident receives the proper type of medication.
  • Giving expired medication; if a medication is expired it may not have the correct dosage and as such, it may be less effective in treating the medical conditions of the resident.
  • Failing to monitor the resident for any side effects of the medication; since each resident is unique, the nursing home’s staff must monitor each resident to ensure that the resident does not have an adverse reaction to any medication given.

Medical Malpractice Claims due to Medication Errors

Sometimes the acts of the medical provider or nursing home staff rise to a level beyond a simply negligent act. Rather the acts are considered medical malpractice under the law. These claims can either involve an intentional act by the health care provider’s failure to provide the proper standard of care, or an error in preventing medication errors. Some acts of medical malpractice include:

  • Ignoring a change in medication from a medical provider. Nursing home staff may fail to increase or decrease the dosage, depending on the order from the resident’s doctor.
  • Borrowing medication from one resident to another. If the nursing home is understaffed, sometimes medications are not ordered or delivered to the facility on time. This can result in employees giving residents medication from another resident to make up for the shortage.
  • Stealing medication for personal use by nursing home staff or employees

Depending on the act or errors in treatment, negligent medication errors or acts of medical malpractice can all be basis for a lawsuit or claim against the nursing home for any personal injuries or medical deaths resulting from the medication error. Having an attorney to help evaluate whether a negligent act occurred, can do more than just help families of residents get compensation for the nursing home’s bad acts. It can help change the policies and procedures of the nursing home to help ensure future medication errors do not occur. If a medication error has caused you or loved one serious injury, the attorneys at Bautista LeRoy, are here to help. Give us a call at 816-307-4024.

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