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Personal Injury Law Blog

Medication errors in nursing homes cause concern

Reportedly, about one in five nursing home patients are victims of medication errors. Facilities nationwide, including South Carolina, aim to keep the rate of medication errors below 5%. However, the percentages are significantly higher.

Adverse effects of drugs often follow harmful interactions of different medications and overdosing. Health effects often leave patients malnourished, dehydrated or delirious. It could cause incontinence, behavioral changes and fractures caused by falls. Errors could occur during any of the three stages involved in medication protocols.

Prescription errors

Physicians could make three potential errors:

Records indicate that incorrect doses make up 63% of prescription errors, and unanticipated adverse drug interactions make up 22%.

Monitoring errors

It is typically impossible for physicians to predict how patients will react to new medication accurately. That is where monitoring comes in. Physicians, caretakers and family members should look out for adverse effects and respond immediately to avoid the consequences of drug toxicity.

Administration errors

The following errors are possible during medication administration:

Medication errors cause high additional costs for patients of nursing homes and their families in South Carolina. Extra medication and long-term treatment for organ or other health damage could cause significant financial hardship. However, the South Carolina civil justice system allows medication error victims in nursing homes and their families to pursue financial relief by filing medical malpractice lawsuits.