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Nursing Home Neglect: Medication Errors in Nursing Homes

By Alpert Schreyer on March 15, 2012

MD Nursing Home Error InjuryNursing home abuse and neglect can take many forms and is unfortunately a growing problem in elderly care facilities across the country. However, one type of nursing home abuse and neglect not commonly discussed is medication errors and dispensing. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Americans who are 75 years or older take approximately 11 different medications over a one-year period, and senior citizens account for 35 percent of all prescriptions filled. Therefore, it is very likely an elderly family member is taking one or more medications for treatment at any given time.

In order to protect the health and well-being of an older loved one, the following are three different types of medication errors that can occur in a nursing home facility.

  1. Wrong medication: A common type of nursing home abuse is negligence that occurs when undertrained/overworked employees make careless mistakes. When a caretaker dispenses the wrong medicine to a resident, dangerous and possibly fatal side effects can occur.
  2. Overmedicating residents: Often caused by employee negligence, overmedicating residents is a common problem in elderly care facilities across the U.S. Research suggests that an estimated one quarter of nursing home residents are issued anti-psychotic drugs. If they are given these when not needed, it can decrease the quality of a loved one’s life and may even be fatal.
  3. Medication dosage errors: If a nursing home facility is understaffed or workers are undertrained, there is a chance a resident may be given the incorrect dosage of medication. Prescription drug errors are unfortunately common in elderly care facilities in the U.S.

Nursing home abuse and neglect, especially in regards to medication, can be very dangerous and can cost an elderly loved one his or her life. If you feel an elderly family member or loved one is not receiving the appropriate care and may be the victim of abuse or neglect, a compassionate and skilled nursing home malpractice attorney in Maryland with the law firm of Alpert Schreyer can offer assistance. We will work to ensure your loved one’s rights are protected. For a free case evaluation, call (844) 632-7274.

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