Are Nursing Homes Liable for Medication Errors?
Published on:April 23, 2015

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Medication errors are not all that common in nursing homes, but they do happen. If your loved one or friend in Staten Island is injured in this kind of situation, what are your legal options? Is it a standard personal injury claim or medical malpractice? Is the nursing home liable in a lawsuit?

How to Prove Medical Malpractice in a Nursing Home

Medical malpractices often occur in various ways, but the major cause is considered as medical negligence. In nursing homes’ medical error cases, the courts normally define it as the failure of health care provider to exercise the due diligence of an average health care practice, taking into account the resources and professional advances available. So, to determine whether the health care providers at the nursing home committed a medical error or not, you and your personal injury attorney must prove that the health officers were negligent in the following areas along the chain of medication:

  • The physician, either prescribed wrong amount of medication or wrong medication
  • The nursing home pharmacy gives out the wrong medication, either to the person administering medication or directly to the patient
  • The health care provider fails to ask about or forgets the allergies of the patient
  • The nurse or the physician administered medication erroneously
  • The pharmacist at the nursing home mislabeled the medication
  • The medication negatively interacts with other drugs the patient is administered with or
  • The medication interacts negatively with the diet of the patient.

Causes of Medication Error in a Nursing Home

Medication errors are very easy to make. For instance, in the old days patients were sometimes given wrong medication because the pharmacist could not read the prescription handwriting by the physician. Fortunately, those days are gone as many physicians are currently sending prescription electronically to the pharmacist, or simply have the prescription printed out. However, some physicians can still negligently type wrong amount of medication or the wrong medication.

In a nursing home, the health care provider might think that the patient is more competent, and ask the patient questions about his/her allergies to medication. The patient might say no allergies, yet he/she have some serious allergies. The medical provider would be negligent and liable in such situations because they failed to read the chart to see whether the patient is competent or not to give accurate and proper medical history.

Negligence is can also be seen when the physician administers the medication in the wrong manner. Often, various medications are administered in different ways. For instance, if the medication is supposed done by short, and the health care provider gives the shot in the wrong place: that mounts to medical negligence.

To prove that Nursing Home is Liable

To prove that there was medical error in handling your loved one or friend, your personal injury lawyer must obtain all the medical records of the patients related to the treatment in question. Your personal injury attorney will then hire a medical expert to access and read through the records, investigate the situations of the treatment, and provide an opinion as to whether the nursing home health care providers were negligent. Usually, a medical error or negligence case will be seen in the medical record.

If your personal injury lawyer in Staten Island proves that the health care provider in the nursing home was negligent, then he/she can file a personal injury malpractice claim.