Trusting a nursing home to take care of your loved one is a difficult and sometimes scary situation. It seems like the news is full of stories regarding facilities that failed to provide appropriate care to their residents. A common type of injury that occurs in a nursing home is a medication error, which involves giving the wrong medication or an incorrect dosage of medication to a patient. In a licensed care facility, there are often hundreds of patients who each have multiple prescriptions. As a result, nursing homes must exercise extreme care and attention in monitoring prescriptions and dosages. Nursing home abuse attorney Patrick E. Knie has advised people in the Spartanburg area and elsewhere in South Carolina on asserting their rights following an avoidable medication error.Holding a Negligent Facility Accountable for Damages
A medication error is a type of medical negligence case. In this context, courts examine whether the defendant failed to exercise the same amount of care and skill that a health care provider who practices in the same specialty and geographic area would use in a similar situation. This standard takes into account specific advances in that field and the resources available to the provider. It usually requires expert testimony to establish.
There are a variety of situations that can constitute medical negligence. For example, a nursing home staff member can prescribe the wrong medication or the wrong amount of a medication, or a pharmacist can forget to ask whether a nursing home resident has any allergies. Since a nursing home often receives communications from a resident’s physician, information surrounding a prescription can often get lost along the chain of communication. A nursing home pharmacist may misinterpret the physician’s instructions or fail to provide the administering nurse with the correct dosage.
Even if the prescribing physician and nursing home pharmacist get the type of medication and dosage correct, the administering nurse may make an error. The nurse may provide the wrong medication to the wrong resident, mislabel medications before distributing them to residents, or administer the medication to the patient incorrectly. In a nursing home, each of these individuals is often associated with a specific company or entity. In many cases, a nursing home medication error may involve multiple defendants, and the company in charge may be vicariously liable for the negligence of its employees.
After showing that the nursing home acted carelessly in making the medication error, the plaintiff must show that he or she would not have become ill or suffered injuries but for the nursing home’s negligence. Taking the wrong medication or an incorrect dosage of the right medication can have devastating and life-altering consequences for the victim. This is particularly true in situations when the nursing home resident is taking multiple medications at the same time that may react poorly with other types of medications.
Finally, the plaintiff must provide evidence of the damages that he or she, or his or her loved one, has suffered as a result of the nursing home’s medication error. This can include medical bills, physical therapy, surgery expenses, and pain and suffering.Discuss Your Nursing Home Claim with a Greenville & Spartanburg Attorney
You should not let a nursing home get away with causing you or your loved one painful and unnecessary harm as the result of a careless and avoidable medication error. Injury lawyer Patrick E. Knie has over 40 years of experience representing Spartanburg residents and their families in medical negligence cases. We also serve individuals in Greenville, Union, Laurens, and Cherokee Counties, among other areas of South Carolina. We offer a free confidential consultation to help you learn more about your rights. Call us now at 864-582-5118 or contact us online to set up an appointment.