Our nursing home injury attorneys at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. handle cases involving injuries and death due to medication errors in hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living centers.  According to AARP,  Americans 75 and older take on average more than 11 different drugs over the course of a year.  With that average being so high, the probability of a medication error is at high.  Michigan nursing homes are to be properly trained to prevent medication errors, whether it’s assessing a patient’s health background, ensuring they are taking the correct pills, and receiving the correct amount of dosage, and not wrongly prescribing medication.

About 1.5 million preventable adverse drug mistakes occur every year in the United States.  Often these medical mistakes resulted in permanent injury of even death.  Many studies state that the majority of medication mistakes are the result of mistakes made by nurses or physicians.

The Classification of Medical Mistakes

The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCC MERP) defines a medication mistake as: “A medication error is 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. Such events may be related to professional practice, health care products, procedures, and systems, including prescribing; order communication; product labeling, packaging, and nomenclature; compounding; dispensing; distribution; administration; education; monitoring; and use.”

Below are the common classification of medical errors and mistakes:

  • A: circumstances exist for potential errors to occur
  • B: an error occurred but did not reach the patient
  • C: error reached the patient but did not cause harm
  • D: patient monitoring required to determine lack of harm
  • E: error caused temporary harm and some intervention
  • F: temporary harm with initial or prolonged hospitalization
  • G: error resulted in permanent patient harm
  • H: error required intervention to sustain the patient’s life
  • I: error contributed to the patient’s death

One of the most common types of medication errors in Michigan nursing homes involves prescribing anti-psychotic drugs to a patient. According to the federal data, roughly 185,000 nursing home residents in the United States received anti-psychotics in 2010 contrary to federal nursing home regulators’ recommendations – often elderly people like Murphy who have Alzheimer’s or other dementia’s. The drugs, which are intended to treat severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, can leave nursing home residents in a stupor. These medications can have potentially fatal side effects when they are taken by residents with dementia.

Common Medication Errors

Many nursing homes wrongly prescribe and administer these anti-psychotic drugs to the resident to pacify the resident. This is essentially a way of chemically restraining the patient to make their care easier and less time intensive for the nursing home staff. When medications are wrongly prescribed for this reason, it is a violation of the federal and state laws pertaining to the care and treatment of nursing home residents.

The failure of a nursing home or assisted living facility to properly administer medication can cause serious injury and harm to a patient and can give rise to a Michigan nursing home neglect lawsuit.

If you suspect your loved one is not being properly taken care of by the nursing home they reside in, and the nursing home staff has made a medication error, a civil lawsuit may be sought.

In a Michigan nursing home setting, some of the more common medication errors include:

Protecting Your Loved One From Medication Mistakes

Some of the most common reasons why medication mistakes occur in a long term care facility in Michigan include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Verbal order
  • Poor communication within the health care team
  • Poor handwriting
  • Improper drug selection
  • Missing medication
  • Incorrect scheduling
  • Polypharmacy
  • Drug interactions
  • Availability of floor stock (no second check)
  • Look alike or sound alike drugs
  • Hectic work environment
  • Lack of computer decision support

Many senior citizens have vision problems and are unable to check their own prescriptions. Others are hesitant to complain and simply take the drugs they are given. As a result, prescription drug errors can go unchecked.

Contact Our Team When Your Loved One Suffers a Michigan Nursing Home Medication Error

Our experienced attorneys represent residents and their families in lawsuits involving medication errors. These lawsuits seek compensation for the resident and the family for the injuries suffered. They also serve to prevent such a tragedy from happening to another resident in the future.

If a loved one has suffered injuries from medication errors in a Michigan nursing home due to neglect and abuse, call our office now to speak with one of our experienced attorneys. We will start working on your case immediately and gather the necessary evidence to prove and win your case. We will also get you the real answers as to what happened and how it happened.

Take Legal Action Today!

Please contact us today for answers to more complex questions or questions specific to your case. The initial consultation is FREE.

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