When you place your parents in the care of a nursing home, you expect that they’ll receive the necessary medical care. Unfortunately, personal injury attorneys know that medication errors in nursing homes are all too common. By some estimates, 16-27% of nursing home residents have either been overmedicated or undermedicated at some point during their stay. Here’s what you need to know about these types of situations.
What Is Overmedication?
Doctors prescribe specific doses of medication based on each patient’s unique situation. Unfortunately, nursing home staff members may give residents more than the prescribed amount, and may even administer double doses. Overmedication can also occur when doctors prescribe too many medications for a patient. This can trigger dangerous drug interactions that have serious and potentially life-changing results.
People who take too many medications can experience a variety of symptoms, including confusion, lethargy, and blood pressure spikes. If your parent in a nursing home is experiencing a wide range of unusual symptoms that are unrelated to a diagnosed medical condition, overmedication may be to blame.
What Is Undermedication?
Staff members may also fail to follow a doctor’s orders, undermedicating residents. This can occur if the dosages are too small or if the medications are not administered at all. Undermedicated patients may not display the medical improvements a doctor would expect, and this could lead to the development of dangerous complications.
Undermedication errors can be difficult to detect, especially when residents’ family members aren’t present all the time. If you suspect your parent is getting an improper dosage, discuss the treatment plan with their doctor immediately.
Why Do Medication Errors Occur?
Many nursing homes are continuously understaffed, meaning caregivers don’t have the time to give each resident the individual care they deserve. The problem could also be related to poor training or poor organization that leaves staff unsure whether a resident has already received their medication. No matter the reason, a personal injury attorney can help establish negligence and ensure your loved ones are fairly compensated for any injuries.
If you believe your parents have experienced nursing home neglect, Mark O. Grater Attorney at Law has the resources to protect their rights and hold the liable parties responsible. This skilled personal injury attorney is based in Groton, CT, and is proud to fight for the rights of victims throughout southeastern Connecticut. He is dedicated to giving each case the individual attention it deserves. Visit him online to learn how he can help, or call (860) 449-8059 to speak with this personal injury attorney and set up a consultation.