Nursing home residents typically require a lot of medication. Ensuring they receive the proper medications in the correct dosages on time is fundamental to nursing home care.

Sadly, medication errors are common in nursing homes. While these errors do not always cause significant harm to the patient, they are sometimes fatal. Even when the patient’s suffering is minimal or short-lived, a pattern of medication errors could indicate that the facility provides poor care.

Speak with a dedicated nursing home negligence attorney if you are concerned about medication errors in Houston nursing homes. A legal professional at Roberts Markland LLP could advise you about the best steps to ensure your loved one receives the compassionate care they deserve.

How do Medication Errors Occur in Nursing Facilities?

Nursing homes often employ untrained workers. Without proper training, these employees cannot provide patients with the best care. Additionally, rushed and fatigued staff make careless mistakes, often involving patient medication.

A typical nursing home patient might take multiple medications, and each must be precisely administered to maximize effectiveness. Overworked staff could easily misread a chart or a medication label and make a mistake. Common medication errors in nursing homes include:

  • Administering the wrong medication to the patient
  • Inadvertently skipping a dose of the patient’s medication
  • Giving the medication in the wrong form—for example, providing the patient with an oral antibiotic instead of a topical one
  • Transcribing the dose incorrectly
  • Forgetting to make a note in the patient’s medication record when a drug was administered

Failing to observe whether the patient has an adverse reaction to a drug is also a medication error.

When your loved one suffers an injury because nursing home staff failed to administer their meds correctly, immediately speak with the facility’s administrator. If you do not feel confident the situation will not recur after your discussion with the Administrator, contact a local negligence attorney in Houston. They could discuss your options for protecting your loved one against this form of nursing home neglect.

Underlying Causes of Nursing Home Medication Errors

Often for-profit companies that run nursing home devotes insufficient resources to attracting and training skilled staff. Well-qualified and properly trained staff can prevent most medication errors before they occur. For example, when a doctor prescribes a medication contraindicated with another drug the patient takes, a capable nursing home staff member will follow up with the doctor’s office before administering the new medication. A poorly qualified or overworked staff member might not make the call, causing the patient to suffer.

Well-run nursing homes have procedures to comply with Texas Administrative Code Rule 554.1508, which governs medication administration. Under these rules, employees must adhere to the procedures as a condition of their employment. When a nursing home consistently fails to amend its procedures to address problems or impose consequences for medication errors, contact a diligent lawyer in Houston for help.

Taking Legal Action Against a Nursing Home

Your loved one is entitled to compensation from the nursing home that harmed them. The nursing home could be liable to pay your loved one’s medical expenses and provide compensation for their physical suffering, emotional distress, and any long-term consequences of the prescription drug error.

When you enlist the help of a knowledgeable attorney in Houston, they will obtain your loved one’s medical records and review them thoroughly for proof of the medical error. The legal professional will also review the facility’s procedures for medication administration to determine whether they comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Finally, they will look at personnel records, including training records, to determine whether the facility used due care in hiring and training its staff.

Most nursing home neglect cases do not go to trial. Often, it is unnecessary to file a lawsuit to negotiate a settlement with a nursing home. Once the facility knows the patient has legal representation, its insurance company might open negotiations to avoid a lawsuit.

Rely on an Attorney in Houston for Assistance with Nursing Home Medication Error Issues

You want your loved one to receive the best care in their nursing home. Unfortunately, profit-seeking companies often shortchange their patients and do not provide the quality of care they deserve.

Contact a legal team member today when your loved one suffers significant consequences due to a medication error in a Houston nursing home.