Nursing homes have a responsibility to protect the health and safety of residents. But every year, many residents in Georgia are the victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. One type of neglect seen far too often in nursing homes is medication errors.
Most residents need to take medication that plays a vital role in maintaining health. Giving a resident the wrong medication, the wrong dosage, or an unsafe combination of medications can have serious or potentially life-threatening consequences.
The role of nursing home neglect
But how do medication errors happen? They often happen because of a failure by staff members to take steps to ensure medication is given properly. Examples include:
- Splitting pills that should not be split: Tablets or capsules that have instructions not to be crushed should not be sliced or cut.
- Failure to provide adequate liquids: Many medications require a specific amount of liquid to be taken with them. Failure to provide enough liquid can result in dehydration and the medication may cause harm to the resident.
- Providing inadequate food or antacids: Some medications must be taken with food, others without. Some medications require antacids to be taken first. Staff members need to follow these requirements.
- Failing to mix, shake or roll medications: Certain medications require shaking or mixing before use. Failing to do so could result in underdosing or overdosing a resident.
- Not adhering to enteral nutrition formulas: Residents receiving enteral nutrition through a tube must follow specific guidelines when taking medication.
- Incorrect administration of eye drops: Some medications must be administered directly into the eye for proper absorption. Staff members must ensure that the eye drop remains in the eye for about 3-5 minutes to ensure proper absorption.
- Failure to ensure swallowing of sublingual medications: Residents who are resistant to taking sublingual tablets should not swallow them. If this occurs regularly, the medication should be changed.
The results of medications errors can be dramatic. There can be a sudden change in the resident’s condition or mood. Or the resident may begin to suffer from unexplained health problems. At first, it may not even be clear that a medication error is the source of the problem.
An experienced attorney can help you get justice
When nursing home neglect leads to a medication error that harms a loved one, the negligent facility needs to be held accountable. But proving neglect can be complicated. The nursing home may deny doing anything wrong, putting you in the position of having to prove neglect.
That’s why you need an experienced Georgia nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer to fight for you. At Kurle Justus, LLC, we know how investigate neglect cases. We take steps to preserve and gain access to important evidence, such as medical records, hiring records, and inspector reports. We also interview witnesses.
Our lawyers know how to prove neglect and build a strong case that nursing homes and their insurance companies have to take seriously. We fight for the justice your family deserve.
We’ve been fighting for the rights of nursing home residents in Decatur and throughout Georgia since 2004. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping clients get the best possible outcome. If you think a loved one is suffering nursing home neglect, learn more about how we can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.