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Medication error rate for special needs patients varies greatly

Hearing about someone dying in a care facility is a horrible occurrence, especially when the death could have been prevented if the staff members had been properly caring for the resident. One such case, which happened at Chesco in Pageland, is especially troubling. The case involves a 55-year-old man who was a special needs adult. He had lived at the home for around 12 years when he was found on the floor of the home deceased.

An overdose of fluvoxamine was a contributing factor in his death. It isn't fully clear how the overdose occurred; however, a worker at the facility is facing criminal charges in connection with the death. This man's death is only one of the tragic medication errors that occurs within the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.

While the agency claims that its medication error rate is less than nursing homes or hospitals, the variation of rates across the system is troubling. One home reported a 25-percent medication error rate, which was the highest. Eleven of the facilities reported a 0 percent error rate.

When a provider's rate within the DDSN is above 3 percent, a citation is supposed to be issued. For nursing homes, which aren't in the DDSN system, no citation is required until the 5 percent threshold is crossed.

There is a chance that some of the errors aren't very serious; however, in cases like that man mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, some errors are fatal. In any medication error case, the person who was harmed by the error might opt to seek compensation. If the person was ultimately killed by the error, the family members might opt to seek compensation.

Source: Greenville Online, "DDSN: Medication error rates range from 0 to 25 percent," Tim Smith, Oct. 29, 2016

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