A recent journalist’s investigation of nursing homes in one state has revealed multiple medication mistakes that have ended in permanent injury and death. In some of the situations, the wrong dose was given or prescriptions were missed entirely. Allegations of substandard medical care are a concern in nursing homes in every state, including those in New Mexico.
One patient died after having been admitted to a nursing home for a brief period of recovery from a heart condition. During his stay, he did not receive any of the required medications to keep his blood sugars under control. Unfortunately, by the time the error was caught, the elderly man’s glucose levels had reached life-threatening numbers. He allegedly died as a result of the staff’s failure to provide proper medication.
Federal investigators say that over 140 medication errors occurred in Michigan over a 36 month period. In one instance, the nursing staff told a resident that a doctor had made changes when he questioned whether his medications were being given correctly. In other accounts, medicine was given to the wrong occupant of a shared room.
In light of the seemingly large number of errors, including those of giving the wrong dose or type of prescription, one nurse commented that mistakes are sometimes inevitable. This may not be reassuring news for those families in New Mexico who may be facing a decision as to where a loved one can receive the care and attention required due to their age or possible disability. However, if medical malpractice, or similar neglect, is suspected in the harm or death of a loved one, then family members are ensured the right of filing a wrongful death or injury claim against the physician, hospital or medical care facility that may be liable.
Source: wxyz.com, Prescription for danger: Medication errors inside nursing homes lead to hospitalization, death, Ross Jones, Nov. 13, 2013