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Chicago Nursing Home Medication Error Attorney

Medication errors continue to occur at an alarming rate and impact all patient demographics, especially during an admission to a nursing home or hospital.

Many medication errors in nursing home patients happen when staff members give patients the wrong medication, wrong dosage or simply fail to administer a medication prescribed by a doctor.

The nursing home negligence lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC helps families who's loved one have suffered a serious injury or death due to a medication error in a long-term care facility.

Our experienced Chicago, IL nursing home abuse lawyers investigate and prosecute errors made by Illinois nursing homes and hold them fully accountable under the law.

As with all abuse and neglect cases, our nursing home lawyers work on a contingency fee basis and only receive a legal fee when there is a recovery for your family member. If there is no recovery, our services are free.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Chicago Nursing Home Medication Error Lawyer

Nursing Home Medication Errors in Chicago, IL Facilities

The use of medications (over the counter and prescription drugs) continues to grow and as the need increases for elderly individuals entering nursing homes.

The expanding need for medications has increased the number of medication errors exponentially.  

Statistically, nursing home residents are far more likely to suffer an injury related to a medication mistake compared to other types of accidents considered to be nursing home abuse.

The Institute of Medicine revealed results from a respective large scale study to address mistakes in the administration of medications.

A study looked at individuals residing at medical facilities throughout the United States. Amongst the studies findings:
  • 98,000 people die annually due to preventable drug errors
  • 380,00 adverse drug events occur on an annual basis with many requiring medical treatment
  • 800,000 adverse drug events (ADE’s) occur every year at long-term care facilities
  • ADE’s result in more than $3.5 billion in medical costs

Standard of Care for Giving Medication to Nursing Home Residents

Nursing home staff are responsible for administering medications to residents as prescribed by each resident's physician. Staff in nursing home are responsible for giving medications in accordance with the correct:
  • Patient
  • Dose
  • Drug
  • Time
  • Route
Furthermore, each dose is to be recorded by staff in the patient's medication administration record (MAR). By recording administration of medications in this manner, nursing homes can ensure each patient is properly cared for.

When a nursing home medication error occurs, our attorneys carefully reviews the resident's MAR to look for immediate discrepancies.

Common Medication Errors in Skilled Nursing Facilities in Chicago, IL

While there's been a push to reduce medication errors in a hospital setting with the use of sophisticated computer systems to prevent basic mistakes, medication errors in a long-term care setting are still prevalent.

According to a recent study of 25 nursing homes over a one year period, 92% of the facilities reported mistakes in the administration of medication to patients.

A closer look revealed that 8% of the medication errors were deemed as serious errors requiring monitoring or intervention. The study did not track fatal medication error.

The most common medication errors were:
  • Dose omission: 32%
  • Overdose: 14%
  • Underdose: 7%
  • Wrong patient: 6%
  • Wrong product: 6%
  • Wrong strength: 6%
When it comes to prescription errors in nursing home residents, the seven most common medications were: lorazepam, oxycodone, warfarin, furosemide, hydrocodone, insulin and fentanyl.

Example of an Incorrect Medication Claim

A medication error lawyer at our law office recently settled a medication error case on behalf of the family of an elderly man who was given an overdose of insulin at a Cook County nursing home.

After contacting our law firm, we were able to request the medical records from the Illinois nursing home, which revealed that staff at the facility were not consistent with measuring blood sugar levels of the nursing home resident.

After an indeterminate time, the nursing home staff found his blood sugar levels to be alarmingly low and administered a high dose of insulin resulting in a diabetic coma and eventual death. Rather than facing extended litigation, the nursing home settled the case for $575,000.

Chicago Nursing Home Medication Error Attorneyr

Nursing Home Medication Error FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions related to medication error incidents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Our nursing home abuse attorneys appreciate your concern for your loved one and stand ready to discuss any questions you may have about your particular situation.

What is Considered a Med Error?

The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention defines a medication mistake as "any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer."

Mistakes when prescribing, filling, or administering medications might include hospitalization, life-threatening situation, disability, or death.

Do Assisted Living Facilities Help with Medication?

Many long-term care facilities including assisted-living homes take charge and medication management with the staff administered drugs according to the doctor's orders. In some cases, after frequent evaluations and assessments, assisted living residents may be able to maintain control of taking their own medications safely.

If the resident has an overall decline in his or her health, the physician may reevaluate their current prescription medication needs. This reevaluation can help remove unnecessary or harmful medications from the resident's Plan of Care to prevent adverse reactions or health issues from side effects.

What Are the Most Common Types of Medication Dispensing Errors?

The rate of dispensing and administering drug errors are typically low in hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.

However, the main mistakes that cause minimal to catastrophic results involve some type of fault when the doctor prescribes the drug, transcription mistakes between the doctor and pharmacists, mislabeling, dispensing mistakes, pharmacy advice with the patient, and administering errors.

How Do You Investigate Medication Errors?

The assisted living facility or nursing home is required to maintain charts and documents that report the resident's condition, medication administration, food and liquid consumption, and times of supervision.

Doctors, nursing staff, and attorneys building a personal injury case or wrongful death lawsuit can review charts, computerized monitoring, and incident reporting through numerous data documented by the facility.

Many medication mistakes are detected through direct observation, auditing, or reporting done by the pharmacist, doctor, nurse, resident, or others. Not all drug mistakes can be found in a chart review if the nursing staff failed to document the error or was unaware that an error had occurred.

What are Signs of Possible Medication Errors in a Nursing Home Resident?

It is crucial at the first sign of an adverse reaction to medication to provide the individual medical attention to ensure their well-being.  

Errors that happen in a hospital or nursing home setting are compounded when the nursing or medical staff does not react quickly to signs that the patient.

Some signs of a medical mistake can involve the staff giving the patient the wrong medication, as overdose the patient for the resident is experiencing an allergic reaction.

Some signs of nursing home medication errors include the following symptoms:
  • Rash
  • Change in respiratory or heart rate
  • Change in mental state
  • Issues with hearing or vision
  • Seizures
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
If the medication continues to be administered despite an adverse reaction, the consequences for the patient can be deadly.

Unfortunately, due to under-staffing, insufficient training, or lax policies, the nursing facility staff may overlook or misdiagnose many prescription drug errors until the mistake causes catastrophic results.
Nursing Home Medication Error Lawyer Chicago

Why Medication Errors Are Made at Chicago Nursing Homes

Our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys prosecuting cases where home residents have suffered serious injuries or death due to errors made in the administration of medication by home employees providing medical care.

When evidence proves a prescription drug error or nursing home neglect occurred, resulting in patient death, our Chicago nursing home neglect lawyers will file a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act.

Types of Medication Errors Involving Serious Patient Injury

Mistakes made in prescribing, filling, and administering medications can cause severe injuries or death.

A Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston study revealed that 9.7% of non-operative adverse drug events in their research caused permanent disability.

The most common types of medication errors seen in Illinois nursing home residents involve:
  • Physicians failing to take complete medical histories of patients to identify existing medical conditions
  • Physicians writing sloppy medication orders — failing to articulate how the drug is to be administered
  • Medical errors to account for patient allergies, weight or other medications
  • Mislabeling medications
  • Failing to note the patient's reaction to medications involving side effects and drug interactions
  • Giving the dangerous medication to the wrong patient
Many of these nursing home medication error cases could have been prevented through the use of computerized monitoring systems.

According to the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), up to 95% of ADE can be prevented by using computerized monitoring to reduce medication errors.

Hiring Chicago Nursing Home Medication Errors Lawyer For Injury to Your Loved One

Our personal injury law firm knows that sometimes there may be multiple reasons why medication errors occur, in a hospital, assisted living or nursing home setting.

The Chicago nursing home abuse team at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC will investigate all potential claims and keep you advised of your potential legal rights.

Let our medication error attorneys begin the investigative process. Please fill out our contact form or call our office toll-free at (888) 424-5757 to speak to a Chicago, IL home abuse and neglect lawyer immediately during a free consultation.

All sensitive information that you, your loved one, and family members share with our personal injury attorneys will remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.

Our law firm is currently representing home abuse and neglect clients throughout Illinois in Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Sangamon County, Peoria County, Winnebago County, and Will County.

Our medication errors lawyers follow social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
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