As people age, they’re more likely to need higher levels of care. Nursing homes can provide round-the-clock medical care and take the burden off family members. However, when medication errors occur, there can be devastating consequences. Who’s responsible for medication errors? What are the patient’s legal rights?

What is a medication error?

Medication errors within nursing homes can happen in a number of situations. Managing multiple prescriptions increases the possibility of errors, including administering the wrong medication, giving incorrect dosages, missing doses or giving the wrong medication to the wrong person.  This typically happens when the staff misreads or misinterprets medication orders, there are errors in medication preparation, medication mix-ups or failing to address potential drug interactions. The consequences of these errors can range from adverse drug reactions to life-threatening complications and death.

Who is liable for a nursing home medication error?

Nurses and healthcare providers in nursing homes have a duty of care to residents, including administering medications according to established protocols. A “duty of care” simply means the legal responsibility the nursing home staff has to each patient. Typically, this means providing appropriate medical care, assisting with daily activities, promoting hygiene, monitoring nutrition and hydration, ensuring patient safety, and otherwise respecting residents’ rights and dignity.

Therefore, if a medication error occurs, the nursing home may be held liable. Furthermore, patients may be able to hold physicians and pharmacists liable for prescribing or dispensing incorrect medications.

Proving a medication error generally involves showing that the nursing home had a duty of care to the patient, they failed in that duty and as a result, the patient suffered actual harm. For instance, if you simply received an incorrect dose of a vitamin and did not encounter any ill effects, you’re unlikely to recover compensation.

What to do if you or a loved one suffer from a medication error

If you or a loved one has suffered from a medication error at a nursing home, call the Law Offices of Tim Misny right away. Medication error cases can be complex. Our firm can explain your legal options, conduct investigations, consult with appropriate medical experts and help you obtain fair compensation.

Be sure to document your symptoms, who administered the medication and when, any subsequent medical interventions and communication with staff, doctors and administrators. If the medication injuries or symptoms are visible, consider taking photos or video. This evidence may be important in proving your case.

Discuss your case with a Columbus nursing home abuse and medical malpractice lawyer

The Law Offices of Tim Misny can review your medication error case. When you’re the victim of negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (877) 614-9524 so that I can evaluate your case right away.

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