Risk Of Medication Errors In Florida Nursing Homes
Many people require an increasing number of medications to care for the medical conditions that come with age, so it is not surprising that up to 80 percent of all older adults take 2 or more regularly. What is disturbing is the statistics on medication errors in nursing homes. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimate that there are around 800,000 preventable medication-related injuries in assisted living facilities every year. Patients in long-term care are also more likely to be subjected to medication mistakes than those in hospital settings.
Mishaps with both prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs can lead to serious harm to the resident, but there are legal remedies for victims. Under Florida law, you can hold a nursing home accountable for medical mistakes and obtain compensation for your losses. Retaining a Tampa nursing home negligence attorney is an essential first step, and some information about the risks of medication errors is useful.
Negligence and Medication Errors: NIH figures refer to medication-related injuries that are preventable, which means they would never happen unless someone was negligent. These mistakes may be a failure to provide services according to applicable standards, statutes, or the contract for care. Some of the most common medication errors in nursing homes include:
- Overdose and underdose, often related to the resident’s weight;
- Administering drugs to the wrong individual;
- Failing to properly monitor the resident after giving medications;
- Not providing medications with food, plenty of water, or an antacid as instructed;
- Mistakes with administration route, considering oral, injection, intravenous, and other options;
- Missing a medication dose;
- Failure to provide medication at the proper time;
- Neglecting to properly document the administration of medication for resident charts; and,
- Not having essential medications on hand because of mistakes with ordering.
Claims Against Negligent Nursing Homes: Medication errors can cause serious injuries, as these are controlled substances with powerful capabilities. In the long-term care environment, many of the drugs residents take are for management of medical conditions and pain. Without the proper medications, a resident may suffer organ failure, respiratory problems, cardiac arrest, infection, and many other issues.
Under Florida law, it is possible to recover compensation for the losses related to medication errors in nursing homes. You will need evidence showing that the resident suffered harm because the facility breached the duty of care. Many of these claims settle, so you may obtain damages by negotiating an agreement out of court. However, if you cannot reach a compromise, it will be necessary to sue. Compensation for an injured resident may include medical costs, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Get Legal Help from a Florida Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer
Proper medication administration is a basic duty of assisted living facilities, so it is good to know that you have options when staff commit injury-causing errors. For more information on your rights and remedies, please contact Greco & Wozniak P.A. at our offices in Tampa, FL. You can schedule a no-cost case assessment with a nursing home negligence attorney by calling 813.223.7849 or visiting us online.