People who reside in nursing homes are vulnerable and require a high amount of monitoring and care. They depend on their caregivers to provide for them physically and emotionally, and their caregivers have a duty to ensure that all of their needs are being attended to. This is especially true for the medication that they receive, since their life can depend on them receiving the correct dosage at all times.
The consequences of dosage errors
Under-medication and over-medication can have catastrophic consequences for a resident of a care home. The consequences that it can have will depend on the type of medication and their dependency on it, but it can result in pain, a delay in recovery, exhaustion and fatigue, and potentially the failure of their organs.
Mistakes in prescriptions
It is estimated that one-third of dosage errors are due to the doctor making a mistake on a prescription. This can be due to them misdiagnosing or underestimating the patient’s condition.
Disorganization and poor processes in nursing homes can lead to accidental dosage errors. For example, a caregiver may give a resident medication, not realizing that another caregiver gave the individual a dose 30 minutes prior. This can constitute negligence since mistakes like these are completely avoidable.
Occasionally, nursing home residents are victimized by caregivers who abuse them via under-medicating or over-medicating.
If you believe that a loved one is suffering at a nursing home due to medication dosage errors, it is important that you try to gather any evidence that you have and take action on this serious issue.
Source: Nursing Home Abuse Guide, “Dosage Errors in Nursing Homes,” accessed Dec. 22, 2017